Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa was stuck in his own country Tuesday in a humiliating standoff with airport immigration staff blocking his departure, official sources said.
As president, Rajapaksa enjoys immunity from arrest, and is believed he wants to flee abroad before stepping down to avoid the possibility of being detained.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa has promised to step down on Wednesday in order to allow for a "peaceful transition of power" in response to widespread protests against him over the completely devoid economic crisis facing the nation.
As per report, the president and his wife spent the night at a military base next to the main international airport after missing four flights that could have taken them to the United Arab Emirates.
According to report, Basil Rajapaksa, the youngest brother of Rajapaksa and the former finance minister, missed his early-morning Emirates flight to Dubai due to a similar incident. Basil tried to use paid concierge service for business travellers, but the immigration and airport staff informed him that they were cancelling the fast track service immediately.
Rajapaksa is charged with mismanaging the economy to the extent that the nation lacks foreign currency to pay for even the most basic imports, causing extreme misery for the 22 million population residing in the country.
Sri Lanka is in talks with the IMF for a potential rescue after defaulting on its $51 billion in foreign debt in April. The island's already limited petrol supplies are almost gone. To cut commuting and save fuel, the government has ordered the closure of non-essential offices and schools.
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