Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country for the Maldives on a military jet on Wednesday, July 13, according to media reports.
Rajapaksa, who reportedly fled with his wife and two security officials, said he would step down on July 13 after weeks of protests sparked by economic turmoil.
Last weekend, demonstrations against the Sri Lankan government led to protesters storming the homes of officials, setting fire to buildings, and armed police officers using tear gas to disperse protesters.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his resignation, saying he would leave office once a new government was in place, while speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said Rajapaksa had agreed to step down on July 13, according to reports.
This timelapse footage by Twitter user @Indooshan shows crowds lining up near the presidential residence on Tuesday. Maxar Technologies released satellite imagery showing scenes outside the president’s office and other parliamentary offices. Credit: @Indooshan via Storyful