Thailand denies reports of ex-Sri Lankan President Gotabaya seeking asylum

Bangkok says Rajapaksa will enter country on 90-day visit using diplomatic passport

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Published: Wed 10 Aug 2022, 6:19 PM

Thailand has denied reports that former Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has sought asylum in the country.

The Thailand Foreign Ministry said it received a request from Rajapaksa to visit the country with no intention of seeking political asylum.

"Thailand saw no problem with Rajapaksa entering on a diplomatic passport, which would allow him to stay 90 days," Daily Mirror reported, quoting Thailand Ministry spokesperson Tanee Sangrat.

After fleeing his island nation last month amid mass protests, Thailand would be the second Southeast Asian country after the Maldives that Rajapaksa is seeking temporary shelter in.

Earlier, it was reported that former Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to travel to Bangkok from Singapore on August 11 when his visa is no longer valid.

The former president was issued a 14-day visit pass when he arrived at the Changi Airport in Singapore from the Maldives last month, and he was allowed to stay there for two weeks.


Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced the official resignation of Rajapaksa on July 15.

After the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as President of Sri Lanka on July 21 in Parliament before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya.

Wickremesinghe was earlier appointed as interim president of Sri Lanka after Rajapaksa fled abroad after angry protesters stormed his palace amid the unprecedented economic crisis.

Sri Lanka continues to face a severe shortage of fuel and other essential supplies and is in the throes of its worst-ever economic crisis with soaring inflation. The oil supply shortage has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice. The people of the island nation are expecting the IMF to give them a bailout package. The United Nations warned that 5.7 million people in the country require immediate humanitarian assistance.

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