Sri Lanka’s president attempts to flee country, gets blocked at airport

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was blocked from fleeing the country after protesters broke into his home this week.

The actions are part of a government breakdown in the island nation that many have blamed on the president.

A tense situation

“The soon-to-be ex-president and his wife ended up staying at a nearby military base after missing four flights to the United Arab Emirates. His younger brother Basil also missed a flight after facing opposition,” Fox News reported.

“‘There were some other passengers who protested against Basil boarding their flight,’ an airport official told the outlet. ‘It was a tense situation, so he hurriedly left the airport,'” it added.

A change of plans

The president later “fled to the Maldives without resigning, despite being expected to formally step down on Wednesday,” according to CNN on Wednesday.

“He appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as its acting leader, citing a section of the constitution that allows a prime minister to ‘discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office of president’ when the president is ill or ‘absent’ from Sri Lanka,” the report added.

“A source told the BBC that Mr Rajapaksa will not remain in the Maldives and intends to travel on to a third country” according to the BBC.

“His brother, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, has also left Sri Lanka and is said to be heading to the US,” the BBC added.

The chaos is concerning, with some wondering if a similar breakdown could take place in Western nations if economic conditions continue to decline.

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