Gotabaya Rajapaksa: Former Sri Lankan president arrives in Thailand



The source said Rajapaksa arrived on his private jet and that his stay in Thailand will be treated confidentially. The ousted former leader landed at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport.

Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tanee Sangrat said in a social media post Wednesday that the country had received a request to enter the country.

Sangrat said that as a holder of a Sri Lankan diplomatic passport, Rajapaksa can enter Thailand without a visa for up to 90 days, emphasizing the stay is temporary and he is not seeking political asylum.

Rajapaksa flew from Singapore after initially fleeing the Indian Ocean island nation for the Maldives in July amid mass anti-government protests. Rajapaksa then tendered his resignation from Singapore.

Anger has been growing in Sri Lanka for months after the country’s foreign exchange reserves plummeted to record lows, with dollars running out to pay for essential imports including food, medicine and fuel.

The former leader’s hurried exit last month was a historic moment for the nation of 22 million, which the Rajapaksas had ruled with an iron fist for much of the past two decades, before losing the faith of their citizens.

Rajapaksa is not the first member of the family to have been president. His brother Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected to the top job in 2005 and achieved near legendary status in 2009 when he declared victory in the 26-year civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa served as defense secretary at the time, and the brothers were accused by rights groups of committing war crimes — allegations the family denies.

Most recently, many Sri Lankans have accused the Rajapaksas of mishandling the country’s economy.

In the days following Rajapaksa’s resignation, lawmakers elected the former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as president, but anger remains as many protesters see him as inextricably tied to the former leader’s regime.

Wickremesinghe has appeared to distance himself from the Rajapaksas, telling CNN last month the previous government was “covering up facts” about its crippling financial crisis.


Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.