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Sri Lanka's ousted leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa leaves for the US with family

ColomboEdited By: Mukul SharmaUpdated: Dec 27, 2022, 04:22 PM IST
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Photograph:(AFP)

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Former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa left the country during the wee hours of Tuesday with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and a grandchild. 

Sri Lanka's former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was ousted from power following months of mass protests, left for the United States with his family, a journalist with Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror wrote on Twitter. The former president reportedly left the country during the wee hours on Tuesday morning.

Rajapaksa was forced out of office earlier this year amid unprecedented protests that called for a change in Colombo's presidential palace amid the country's economic crisis.

According to officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Rajapaksa and his family left for the US via Dubai on Monday morning, multiple Colombo-based papers reported. 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa was accompanied by his wife Ayoma Rajapaksa, his son Manor Rajapaksa, his daughter-in-law, and his grandchild.

The group had left for the US via Dubai on an Emirates Airline flight at 2.55 AM on Tuesday. 

WATCH | Gravitas Plus | Explained: Sri Lankan economic crisis

Sri Lanka is currently facing an economic crisis while it waits for International Monetary Fund (IMF) to formally approve a USD 2.9 billion bailout package. IMF and Sri Lanka reached a staff-level agreement to support the economic policies of the country with a 48-month arrangement, giving the country the much-needed headroom to combat economic uncertainty. The country has also sought to trade in Indian rupees with assistance from New Delhi. 

Earlier this year, insufficient foreign reserves at Sri Lanka's Central Bank and loss of access to international capital markets led to the country defaulting on debt, marking a first. 

Restrictions on the import of chemical fertilisers amid increased focus on organic farming, abrupt floating of the Sri Lankan rupee and the Covid pandemic led to the economic crisis in the country which aggravated in the first half of 2022. 

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