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Sri Lanka’s President Flees to Maldives Amid Massive Anti-Government Protests

HeadlineJul 13, 2022

Sri Lanka’s embattled president has fled the country aboard a military jet, following massive protests against official corruption, nepotism and economic crisis. Sri Lanka’s Air Force said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa flew to the Maldives with his wife. Officials there said Rajapaksa would not remain in the Maldives and would transit to a third country. It’s not clear which country might accept him. On Tuesday, the Indian newspaper The Hindu reported the United States rejected Rajapaksa’s request for a U.S. visa. As one of his final acts, Rajapaksa appointed his hand-picked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as Sri Lanka’s acting president. His office said he would call a nationwide state of emergency and impose a curfew in the capital Colombo, where thousands of people continue to hold protests.

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