India on Wednesday rejected the "baseless and speculative" reports of New Delhi facilitating Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's travel to the Maldives on late Tuesday.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo said that India will continue to support the people of Sri Lanka "as they seek to realize their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means and values, established democratic institutions and constitutional framework".
"High Commission categorically denies baseless and speculative media reports that India facilitated the recent reported travel of @gotabayar @Realbrajapaksa out of Sri Lanka," the high commission tweeted.
Rajapaksa fled the country along with his wife and two bodyguards on a Sri Lankan Air Force medium lift Russian AN-32 plane.
In a brief statement, the Sri Lankan Air Force said that under the Constitution granted to an Executive President, Rajapaksa, was flown to the Maldives onboard an Air Force plane Wednesday morning.
"On government request and in terms of powers available to a President under the Constitution, with complete approval from the ministry of defence, the President, his wife and two security officials were provided a Sri Lanka Air Force plane to depart from the Katunayake international airport for the Maldives in the early hours of July 13," the statement said.
Some media reports had earlier claimed that Rajapaksa was blocked at the airport from leaving the country on Monday, which immigration officials denied. The Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration Officers' Association (SLIEOA) said that immigration officials have no legal power to prevent the Gotabaya, who still holds the office of the president, from leaving the country, reported Daily Mirror.