New Delhi [India], July 14 (ANI): Reiterating its commitment to Sri Lanka, India on Thursday said that New Delhi will continue to stand with the people of the island nation and their aspirations through democratic means and a constitutional framework.
Addressing the weekly media briefing today, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that India denied having any role or facilitating Gotabaya Rajapaksa's departure or his travel from Sri Lanka.
"You would have seen comments that our High Commission made. We've categorically denied having any role or facilitating his (Gotabaya Rajapaksa) departure or his travel from Sri Lanka. I'm not in a position to guess where's he. I have seen media reports right now that he is in Singapore," he said.
"We will continue to stand with the people of Sri Lanka, and their aspirations...through democratic means and a constitutional framework," MEA spokesperson added.
According to media reports, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who flew from the Maldives arrived in Singapore on board a Saudia Airlines flight today.
Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Rajapaksa has been allowed entry into Singapore on a private visit and he has not asked for asylum and nor has he been granted asylum.
"In response to media queries, it is confirmed that Mr Rajapaksa has been allowed entry into Singapore on a private visit. He has not asked for asylum and neither has he been granted any asylum. Singapore generally does not grant requests for asylum," said the Singapore MFA.
The flight touched down at Singapore Changi airport at 7.17 pm (local time). Rajapaksa is however expected to be in Singapore only in transit and is expected to fly to the Middle East later in the day, reported Daily Mirror.
According to the earlier reports, Rajapaksa and his wife were expected to stay in Singapore and not travel further to the Middle East. As per various media reports, the Sri Lankan President and his wife, who took Saudia Airlines flight SV788 to Singapore, were expected to travel to Jeddah.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, 73, had gone into hiding after crowds of protesters stormed his residence on July 9 and he had announced that he will hand over his resignation letter on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, the curfew has been imposed from 12 pm July 14 till 5 am July 15, within the Colombo District, the government information department announced.
Sri Lanka Army deployed tanks near Parliament on Thursday to prevent protesters from entering the Parliament.
The country is facing a severe shortage of fuel and other essential supplies and is in the throes of its worst economic crisis with soaring inflation. The oil supply shortage has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice.
Reduced domestic agricultural production, a lack of foreign exchange reserves, and local currency depreciation have fuelled the shortages.
The economic crisis will push families into hunger and poverty - some for the first time - adding to the half a million people who the World Bank estimates have fallen below the poverty line because of the pandemic. (ANI)