Sri Lanka crisis: Former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa prevented from leaving the country

Image Source: PTI Sri Lanka crisis: Former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa prevented from leaving the country

Highlight

  • Tulsi Rajapaksa was stopped from leaving the country at Colombo airport.
  • Basil, a US passport holder, resigned as Sri Lanka’s finance minister in early April.
  • According to reports, he was trying to leave the country through the VIP terminal.

Sri Lanka economic crisis: Former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa was stopped from leaving the country at the Colombo airport on Tuesday amid the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka. According to reports, he was trying to leave the country through the VIP terminal. Rajapaksa is also the younger brother of troubled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The 71-year-old tried to leave Sri Lanka, a day before parliament speaker Mahinda Yapa Abbewardene is expected to publicly announce the resignation of the nation’s president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Basil, a US passport holder, resigned as finance minister in early April as street protests intensified against a lack of fuel, food and other necessities and gave up his seat in parliament in June.

President Rajapaksa signed his resignation letter on Monday, July 1, and it was later handed over to a senior government official who will hand it over to the speaker of parliament.

The Sri Lanka Immigration and Immigration Officers Association said its members refused to serve Tulsi at the VIP terminal of Colombo airport. “Due to the crisis situation in the country, it has been decided to withdraw from activities on the Silk Route/CIP passenger evacuation activities until further notice,” the trade union said in a statement, according to the Economy Next website.

Association President KAS Kanugala said, “We have decided to withdraw from the service of the Silk Road Passenger Clearance Terminal from tomorrow midnight. He said corrupt people were trying to leave the country using the service. Immigration officials refused to serve. Protested at the VIP clearance line and even passengers of Emirates flight bound for Dubai had protested against his departure.

Tulsi is widely being blamed for the country’s worst economic crisis that has thrown a plethora of misery on the people. Political uncertainty prevails in Sri Lanka where LPG delivery resumed after a standstill on Sunday with Indian Oil Company delivering fuel to retailers. Long queues are still seen at fuel pumps.

Protesters continue to occupy three main buildings in the capital, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President’s Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s official residence, Temple Trees.

(with PTI inputs)

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