Former Minister And President’s Brother Basil Rajapaksa Stopped From Flying To Dubai

New Delhi: Former finance minister of Sri Lanka and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s youngest brother was stopped from boarding a flight to Dubai on Monday evening, reported news agency ANI quoting local media. Basil reportedly attempted to leave Sri Lanka amid the ongoing economic crisis in the country but airport immigration officials refused to let him leave the country following the protests by passengers, Daily Mirror reported. 

The report further stated that Basil had to return without being able to proceed after immigration officer’s refusal. 

The development comes a day after Sri Lanka’s Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena clarified that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has not fled the country and was still there soon after reports emerged that he left the island nation amid economic and political turmoil. 

Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa, who announced his resignation on Saturday, was earlier said to have fled and was in a third country. “President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa is still in the country, I made a mistake in the (BBC) interview,” Speaker Abeywardena told ANI in a telephone call.

Responding to the question on the whereabouts of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Speaker said that both of them were still in the country. 

The development comes after thousands of people stormed into the President’s House in Fort on Saturday. The dramatic visuals came from PM’s official residence where they were seen playing carrom board, sleeping on the sofa, enjoying in park premises and preparing food for dinner.

On Monday, Speaker Abeywardena informed that President Rajapaksa will resign from his post tomorrow, July 13 and the new President will be elected on July 20. Following the popular uprising on Saturday, Rajapaksa agreed to step down from the post on the request of the party leader, though he has not resigned formally.  

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also said that he will step down from the post once the new government is formed.