The Maldives' Foreign Ministry has refused to comment on the alleged arrival of Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Maldives.
According to some international news agencies, Gotabaya Rajapaksa left Sri Lanka and arrived in the Maldives early Wednesday morning. The news is the most trending topic in the Maldives at the moment. It is believed that Parliament Speaker and former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed facilitated Gotabaya's arrival in the Maldives. It is rumored that Gotabaya was welcomed at Velana International Airport (VIA) by Nasheed upon his arrival.
When asked regarding Gotabaya's arrival in the Maldives, Foreign Ministry's Communications Director Miuwan Mohamed said the Foreign Ministry does not wish to comment on the matter at this time.
"The Foreign Ministry will not comment on this issue [regarding Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's arrival in the Maldives] at this time," Miuwan said in his message.
According to reports, 73-year-old Gotabaya, his wife, and a bodyguard were among four passengers on board an Antonov-32 plane that reportedly took off from Sri Lanka's international airport last night. As per the reports, they have now left the Maldives after staying at VIA. It is unclear where they went next.
A statement issued by the Sri Lankan Air Force said that the President prepared a SLAF aircraft to fly to the Maldives per his presidential powers and with the approval of the Ministry of Defence. The Air Force confirmed that the aircraft had left Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, the Parliament Secretariat has said the office is unaware of Rajapaksa's arrival in the Maldives.