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Gotabaya Rajapaksa, ex-Lankan President who fled, leaves Singapore after social visit pass expires

Singapore earlier said it has allowed Rajapaksa to enter the city-state on a "private visit" from the Maldives and there was no request for asylum from him, after he fled the country in the face of public revolt against his government's mishandling of the economy.

Sri Lasya Edited By: Sri Lasya @laasiyapriya Colombo Updated on: August 11, 2022 17:06 IST
Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Image Source : AP Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Highlights

  • Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Sri Lankan President who had fled country after protests, left Singapore
  • Rajapaksa boarded a flight from Singapore to Bangkok, Thailand confirmed
  • He resigned as the President of the crisis-hit country on July 24 after he fled

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Sri Lankan President who had fled the country after protests over the country's collapsing economy, left Singapore on Thursday, informed authorities. He had left since his social visit pass expired. 

Rajapaksa boarded a flight from Singapore to Bangkok, after Thailand confirmed a day before that it had received a request from the current Sri Lankan government for him to visit the country.

Responding to media queries, Singapore's Immigration & Checkpoints Authority said that Rajapaksa left Singapore on Thursday, The Straits Times newspaper reported.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday confirmed a temporary visit to Thailand by the 73-year-old embattled Sri Lankan leader for humanitarian reasons, and said he promised not to conduct political activities in the kingdom during his search for permanent asylum in another country.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said the ousted president can stay in Thailand for 90 days as he is still a diplomatic passport holder, the report said. Don said the Sri Lankan government did not oppose the visit and the Thai government would not make accommodation arrangements for him. The visit would not pose conflicts with Colombo as acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe had worked for him when he was in power, he added.

The minister said a condition for Rajapaksa’s stay was that he should not cause problems for Thailand.

Singapore earlier said it has allowed Rajapaksa to enter the city-state on a "private visit" from the Maldives and there was no request for asylum from him after he fled the country in the face of public revolt against his government's mishandling of the economy.

He resigned as the President of the crisis-hit country on July 24. 

The 73-year-old President fled to the Maldives along with his wife and two security officers on a military jet.  Rajapaksa, who enjoys immunity from prosecution while he is president, fled the country without resigning to avoid the possibility of arrest by the new government.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials.

Also Read | Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled to Singapore, resigns

(with PTI inputs)

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