Sri Lankan Nidahas Sewaka Sangamaya (SLNSS) of SriLankan airlines on Tuesday announced the withdrawal of the services at the Silk Route Lounge of the Sri Lankan airport.

The trade union took the decision in order to prevent the responsible officials who are involved in the ongoing crisis from leaving the country, the Daily Mirror reported.

SLNSS decided to withdraw from functioning their duties with effect from noon today and also decided to stay away from passenger handling on the Silk Route/CIP.

Earlier in the day, The Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration Officers’ Association (SLIEOA) also announced withdrawal from functioning at the Silk Route Passenger Clearance Terminal at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) with effect from morning until further notice.

Accordingly, the operations at the Silk Route Passenger Clearance Terminal were stopped at 12.00 midnight today.

SLIEOA President K.A.A.S. Kanugala said, “The decision was made considering the current unstable and crisis situation in the country and the strong possibility of a large number of accused former political VIPs using this Silk Route Clearance Terminal to leave the country.”

“The VIPs can arrange their flight facilities by paying money at the BIA through the Silk Route,” he added.

This comes after Sri Lanka’s former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa, who is the youngest brother of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was stopped from boarding a flight to Dubai on Monday evening.

Basil reportedly attempted to leave Sri Lanka amid the ongoing economic crisis in the country but airport immigration officials refused to let him leave the country following the protests by passengers, Daily Mirror reported.

Upon immigration officials’ refusal, Basil had to return without being able to proceed, the report added.

This development comes a day after Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena clarified that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is still in the country, soon after reports emerged that the President has left the island nation.

Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa, who announced his resignation on Saturday, was earlier said to have fled and was in a third country.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also announced to step down from his posts amid the ongoing protests. However, the protesters who have occupied the residences of the President and Prime Minister have cleared that they will continue to occupy their houses until they resign from their posts.
The worsening economic situation in the country has led to increasing tensions and over the last few weeks, there were reports of several confrontations between individuals and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations where thousands of desperate members of the public have queued for hours and sometimes days. (ANI)