Sri Lankans 'enjoy a day out' at presidential palace
Protesters were seen partying in the pool and enjoying a workout session at the presidential palace in Sri Lanka as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the residence amid demand of resignation over the economic crisis in the country. Image Credit: Agencies

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa left the country for the Maldives on a military aircraft, an Air Force spokesman said on television.

Rajapaksa has yet to send in his resignation letter, according to people familiar with the matter.

Under the provisions of the Constitution and on a request by the government, the Sri Lanka Air Force provided a plane early today to fly the president, his wife and two security officials to the Maldives," the statement said.

The Indian High Commission in Colombo said on Twitter it "categorically denies baseless and speculative media reports that India facilitated the recent reported travel of @gotabayar @Realbrajapaksa out of Sri Lanka".

The leader had told the speaker and the prime minister earlier this week he will step down on Wednesday.

His exit could mark a turning point for the bankrupt country struggling to pay for food and fuel imports. International Monetary Fund representatives plan to continue technical discussions with the finance ministry and the central bank to discuss a bailout package for the island nation.