Parliament Speaker and former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has been accused of facilitating Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's escape to the Maldives amid an economic crisis.
Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed that Gotabaya arrived in the Maldives on a military aircraft late last night.
According to reports, when the military plane on which Gotabaya was flying initially requested permission to land at the Velana International Airport (VIA), the request was denied. However, permission was reportedly obtained through President Nasheed's mediation in a second attempt. It is unclear what Gotabaya did next when he arrived in the Maldives as neither the Maldives government nor President Nasheed have yet commented on the issue. It is not clear whether Gotabaya is currently in the Maldives or has departed.
With the news of Gotabaya's arrival in the Maldives, Sri Lankans residing in the Maldives and the people of the Maldives have been calling on the Maldivian government to help bring Gotabaya to justice.
Critics are saying that it is unacceptable for a leader who claims to love democracy, such as Nasheed, to help a leader like Gotabaya, who is accused of corruption, fraud, and corruption. Nasheed will have to pay the price for this heinous act someday, critics said.
Former Reuters journalist and prominent Sri Lankan journalist Shihar Aniz tweeted that Gotabaya's escape from Sri Lanka was said to be facilitated by President Nasheed, who claims to advocate good governance. Shihar then asked what good governance and justice President Nasheed has brought to the people of Sri Lanka.
"What made you to facilitate temporary asylum to Gotabaya, who has resulted millions of people to suffer?" Shihar asked Nasheed in his tweet.
Meanwhile, former Foreign Minister of the Maldives Ahmed Shaheed tweeted that Maldivian authorities have given protection to a criminal who has committed war crimes and that it was a shameful move.
The Maldives' opposition coalition has said that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed together helped Gotabaya to flee his country. President Solih is currently in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage.
The parliamentary group of the Maldives National Party (MNP) has decided to file a motion in Parliament to review the government's actions in facilitating Gotabaya's escape from Sri Lanka.