Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa leaves for Singapore on Saudi airlines from Maldives: Report

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has left the Maldives on a Saudi airlines flight bound for Singapore.

The president had fled to the Maldives a day earlier amid mass protests over Sri Lanka’s economic crisis.

It is not clear if Mr Rajapaksa will stay in Singapore or whether he will use it as a layover destination.

He had previously pledged to resign by Wednesday but has failed to submit a formal resignation so far.

The leader, who as president enjoyed immunity from prosecution, is believed to have wanted to flee abroad before stepping down to avoid the possibility of arrest by the new administration.

It comes as Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday imposed a curfew for a second day. His government ordered a curfew from noon to 05:00 Friday to quell protests.

Mr Wickremesinghe was appointed acting president after President Rajapaksa fled – but the decision triggered further protests demanding that he also resign.

One person died and 84 others were injured after Wednesday’s protests, which took place at key landmarks around the capital of Colombo, including the prime minister’s office.