Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was airlifted to Trincomalee naval base for security reasons, Defense Secretary Kamal Gunaratne told the media on Wednesday. The Sri Lanka Defense Secretary said that the former prime minister will be moved to a location he wishes, once the situation in the country returns to normalcy.
Gunaratne said that the military will provide security to Rajapaksa as long as it takes because as a former president he is entitled to security for life. Rajapaksa was serving as Sri Lankan president from 2005 and 2015 and was sworn in as prime minister in 2019. He resigned on Monday as protests turned violent in the country.
Several violent incidents have taken place in the country after pro-government groups clashed with anti-government protesters on Monday, leaving eight people dead and over 200 others injured. A curfew was imposed on Monday and extended several times until Thursday morning. Earlier on Tuesday, Sri Lankan media reported that some politicians had fled the island as anti-government protests in the country continue to escalate.
Responding to the media reports, the Indian High Commission said recent reports claiming Sri Lankan politicians and their family members are fleeing to India are groundless and false. “High Commission has recently noticed rumours circulating in sections of media and social media that certain political persons and their families have fled to India. These are fake and blatantly false reports, devoid of any truth or substance. High Commission strongly denies them,” the commission tweeted.