Former President of Sri Lanka Seeks Entry to Thailand

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Former President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Former President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa (Reuters).

Former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has requested entry to Thailand, the Thai foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Rajapaksa fled his island nation last month amid widespread protests, arriving in Singapore on 14 July.

He is set to depart Singapore and travel to Bangkok, Thailand today, Reuters reported. Mr. Tanee Sangrat, Spokesman of the Thai foreign ministry told the media that Rajapaksa holds a diplomatic passport allowing him entry into the country for 90 days.

“The entry to Thailand by the former president of Sri Lanka is for a temporary stay,” Sangrat said.

“The Sri Lankan side informs us that the former president has no intention for political asylum in Thailand and will travel to another country afterward.”

According to the AFP news agency in Colombo, Rajapaksa’s visa in Singapore was due to expire and an extension had not yet been granted, prompting him to travel to Thailand.

The ousted former president has made no public appearances or comments since leaving Sri Lanka.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Rajapaksa’s successor, has advised that the former president refrains from returning to Sri Lanka in the near future.