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Sri Lanka: President Rajapaksa leaves Maldives for Singapore

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has left the Maldives on a Saudi airlines flight bound for Singapore, sources have told the BBC.

The president had fled to the Maldives a day earlier amid mass protests over Sri Lanka's economic crisis.

It is not clear if Mr Rajapaksa will stay in Singapore or whether he will use it as a layover destination.

He had previously pledged to resign by Wednesday but has failed to submit a formal resignation so far.

The leader, who as president enjoyed immunity from prosecution, is believed to have wanted to flee abroad before stepping down to avoid the possibility of arrest by the new administration.

It comes as Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday imposed a curfew for a second day. His government ordered a curfew from noon (06:30 GMT) to 05:00 Friday to quell protests.

Mr Wickremesinghe was appointed acting president after President Rajapaksa fled - but the decision triggered further protests demanding that he also resign.


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