Gotabaya Rajapaksa flees Sri Lanka on a Military Jet to Maldives amid widespread protest in his country.

Sri Lanka's Air Force confirmed the 73-year-old flew to the Maldives with his wife and two security officials.

The president pledged to resign by Wednesday, but an official resignation letter is yet to be received.

In his absence, he has appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as acting president.

Mr Wickremesinghe, acting President declared a state of emergency and told the military to restore order as protesters stormed his office and demanded that he also resign.

Mr Rajapaksa's departure ends a family dynasty that has dominated Sri Lanka's politics for almost a couple of decades.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former military officer who served as the eighth President of Sri Lanka from 2019 to 2022.

He previously served as Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development from 2005 to 2015 under the administration of his elder brother

Rajapaksa announced his resignation on 9 July 2022, effective from 13 July 2022, after hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans protested demanding his resignation.

Born to a prominent political family from the Southern Province, Rajapaksa was educated at Ananda College, Colombo and joined the Sri Lankan Army in April 1971.

Following basic training at the Army Training Centre, Diyatalawa, he was commissioned as signals officer and later transferred to several infantry regiments.

He took early retirement from the army and moved into the field of information technology, before immigrating to the United States in 1998.

He returned to Sri Lanka in 2005, to assist his brother in his presidential campaign and was appointed Defence Secretary in his brother's administration.

During his tenure the Sri Lankan Armed Forces successfully concluded the Sri Lankan Civil War defeating the Tamil Tigers and killing its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in 2009.