Sri Lankan President’s Brother Prevented From Flying Out of Country

Sri Lankan immigration officials said they prevented the president’s brother from flying out of the country early Tuesday following President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s failed attempt to flee Sri Lanka on Monday night.

K A S Kanugala, president of Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration Officers Association, said the association received information Monday that former Finance Minister Rajapaksa could leave Sri Lanka.

Rajapaksa reportedly tried to check-in in the regular passenger area when passengers saw him and shouted at him. Kanugala said the immigration officials did not see Rajapaksa arrive at the Colombo airport.

“What we can confirm is that he didn’t leave Sri Lanka officially,” Kanugala said.

President Rajapaksa attempted to escape to Dubai on Monday, but immigration staff prevented him from going to the VIP lounge and stamping his passport. President Rajapaksa also refused to go through ordinary queues for fear of being mobbed.

President Rajapaksa, his wife, and a dozen of his family members and aides went to a nearby military base after missing four flights to the United Arab Emirates.

In June, Rajapaksa stepped down from the parliament after resigning as a finance minister in early April.

President Rajapaksa is expected to step down on Wednesday following Sunday’s protests demanding the president’s resignation.

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