flees Sri Lanka on a Military Jet to
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.
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.
, 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.
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.