Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapksa is rumoured to be hiding out in Singapore after fleeing his country with his wife and bodyguards in the wee hours of Wednesday morning on board an air force vessel.

The president fled hours before he was set to step down and bring an end to his family’s nearly two decades of leading the country.

However, instead, he left without ever giving up the presidency.

Sri Lanka’s parliament in a release on Thursday, confirmed that Rajapaksa was no longer in power following his resignation on Thursday after fleeing to Singapore.

Rajapaksa is fleeing persecution at the hands of the Sri Lankan people, who in the majority have blamed him for the collapse of the country’s economy and the developing humanitarian crisis among the population.

In his absence, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was left to handle the civil uprising which intensified following news of the president’s absence.

In addition to frequent demonstrations, protesters also stormed the prime minister’s office, demanding that those responsible for leading Sri Lanka down the drain relinquish office.

In response, Wickremesinghe issued a national curfew and instructed police officers to do whatever it takes to return the order.

There have been several reports of police brutality, tear gas being fired on civilians and at least one confirmed death.

Reports say that a 26-year-old protester who was subject to being tear-gassed died while being treated for breathing difficulties.