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Brother of president prevented from entering Sri Lanka as anger mounts over the family for damaging the country’s economy

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Brother of present prevented from entering Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan immigration officials have said they prevented the president’s brother and former finance minister, Basil Rajapaksa from flying out of the country, as anger by the populace skyrockets against the powerful family for a debilitating economic crisis.

Rajapaksa, who also holds U.S. citizenship, was trying to go to Dubai according to reports.. He resigned as finance minister in early April as street protests surged due to shortages of fuel, food and other necessities, and quit his seat in parliament in June.

His elder brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa will resign as president on Wednesday, July 13 to make way for a unity government, after thousands of protesters stormed his and the prime minister’s official residences on Saturday demanding their ouster. The president has not been seen in public since Friday and his whereabouts are unclear.

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Read Also: Sri Lankan president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign following mass protest at his presidential residence

The Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration Officers Association said its members declined to serve Basil Rajapaksa at the VIP departure lounge of the Colombo airport.

“Given the unrest in Sri Lanka, immigration officials are under tremendous pressure to not allow top-level people to leave the country,” K.A.S. Kanugala, chairman of the association, told Reuters.

“We are concerned for our security. So until this issue is resolved, the immigration officials working at the VIP lounge decided to withdraw their services.”

Pictures of Basil Rajapaksa at the lounge were carried by local media and widely shared on social media, with some people expressing anger at his attempts to leave the country.

The Rajapaksa family, including former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, has dominated the politics of the country of 22 million for years and most Sri Lankans have blamed them for their current misery.

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Headline inflation hit 54.6% last month, and the central bank of the country has warned that it could rise to 70% in the coming months.

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