Thailand agrees to allow former Sri Lankan president to take temporary shelter

More than eight months before an economic crisis and mass protests prompted him to flee Sri Lanka, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa presented his national statement during the World Leaders’ Summit at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 1, 2021. Andy Buchanan/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Sri Lanka’s ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is due to arrive in Bangkok tomorrow (Thursday) from Singapore, after the Thai government agreed to allow him temporary shelter in the country, with the intention of onward travel.

Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said that the former president holds a diplomatic passport, which was approved by the Sri Lankan government, and can stay in Thailand for up to 90 days in accordance with the Thai regulations.

He said that the former president can stay in a hotel, a rented apartment or house, while admitting one potential issue, that being the Sri Lankan people in Thailand.

As a host country, Don said that Thailand can reject his request to enter Thailand but, after careful consideration and as long as he does not cause any problems during his stay here, he can stay in Thailand for up to 90 days.

Spokesman for the Thai Foreign Ministry, Tanee Sangrat, said that the Sri Lankan government had asked the Thai government to allow the former president to enter Thailand.


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