For three months, protestors — angry at how President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policies had provoked economic ruin in Sri Lanka, forcing many islanders to subsist on one meal a day, shutting down schools and public transport because the country had run out of fuel — had gathered outside the presidential secretariat asking him to resign.
His cabinet — including his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, the fulcrum of the family political dynasty — resigned, but Gota refused to go despite the daily protests demanding that he do so.
Shaken by the protestors entering his secretariat and home last weekend — he had fled to the sanctuary of a Sri Lankan naval ship by then — Gota promised he would resign on Wednesday, July 13.
On Tuesday night-Wednesday morning, under the protection of darkness and a military that looked the other way, Gota and his family flew to Male and sought refuge in the Maldives.
Dominic Xavier offers his take on Gota’s flight .
- Dom’s Take
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