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He left for a ‘medical appointment’ – Continued denials that Sri Lanka’s President fled the island

Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has insisted that his brother, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, did not flee the island but instead left for a medical appointment.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s strenuous denials follow similar claims by cabinet spokesman, Bandula Gunawardena, who insisted that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was “not in hiding”.

Following continued civil unrest, the former president fled the island through a Sri Lankan Air Force carrier on 13 July as protesters stormed his residence. Mahinda Rajapaksa has rejected these claims and is unable to detail when his brother will return. He has already missed a summons to appear before the Supreme Court on 1 August. The summons arose in response to a petition demanding that the former president be investigated for leading the country into bankruptcy.

Mahinda Rajapaksa maintains that his brother will return in the near future. Sri Lanka’s current President Ranil Wickremesinghe has insisted however that now is not the right time for his return.

Read more here.

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