Live: Singapore allows Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa entry ‘on private visit’
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Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s embattled president, left the Maldives on Thursday after fleeing his own country amid an economic collapse and political crisis. Rajapaksa was allowed to enter Singapore on a private visit, Singapore’s foreign ministry said. Follow FRANCE 24’s live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
2:36pm: Singapore says Rajapaksa on private visit, not granted asylum
Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was allowed to enter Singapore Thursday on a private visit and has not been granted asylum, the city-state said, after the leader arrived from the Maldives.
“It is confirmed that Mr. Rajapaksa has been allowed entry into Singapore on a private visit,” Singapore’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “He has not asked for asylum and neither has he been granted any asylum. Singapore generally does not grant requests for asylum.”
1:40pm: Plane carrying Sri Lankan president lands in Singapore
A plane carrying Sri Lanka’s president arrived in Singapore from the Maldives Thursday, according to AFP reporters, a day after he escaped to the atoll nation.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, his wife Ioma and their two bodyguards were on board the Saudia airline plane, which landed at Singapore’s Changi Airport at 7:17 pm local time (11:17am GMT).
11:17am: Sri Lanka army says soldiers authorised to use necessary force to prevent destruction of property and life
Sri Lankan soldiers had been authorised to use necessary force to prevent destruction of property and life, the country’s army said in a statement on Thursday.
9:42am: Sri Lanka’s embattled President Rajapaksa leaves Maldives on Saudi plane
Sri Lanka’s embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has left Maldives after fleeing his own country amid an economic collapse and political crisis.
He boarded a Saudi Airlines plane that will take him to Singapore and then to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a Maldives government officials said Thursday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka early Wednesday as protesters were taking over government buildings to demand he resign.
8:34am: Sri Lanka protesters to end occupation of official buildings
Sri Lanka’s anti-government demonstrators said Thursday they were ending their occupation of official buildings, as they vowed to press on with their bid to bring down the president and prime minister in the face of a dire economic crisis.
Protesters overran President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s palace at the weekend, forcing him to flee to the Maldives on Wednesday, when activists also stormed the office of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Rajapaksa had promised to resign on Wednesday, but there was no announcement he had done so.
>> The rise and fall of a political dynasty that brought Sri Lanka to its knees
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)