Thailand welcomes Sri Lankan ex-president Rajapaksa for ‘temporary stay’


Thailand will be Rajapaksa's second temporary shelter in South-East Asia after he fled to Singapore on July 14, via the Maldives. - AP file

BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Thailand has received a request from the current Sri Lankan government to allow former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to enter the Kingdom, Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat said on Wednesday (Aug 10).

He was responding to a news report that Rajapaksa is expected to arrive in Thailand on Thursday. He had fled the country to Singapore after mass protests in July following an economic collapse.

Tanee said Thailand has considered the request based on its relationship with Sri Lanka. He added that Rajapaksa's move is considered a temporary stay.

"Sri Lanka's former president does not intend to seek permanent shelter in Thailand, and he will travel to other countries soon," he said, citing the Sri Lankan government's remarks.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said Rajapaksa's move to enter Thailand is a humanitarian matter. He also confirmed that he would not be meeting the former Sri Lankan president.

Rajapaksa resigned in July after thousands of protesters stormed the president's official residence and office due to Sri Lanka's worst economic crisis in seven decades.

Thailand will be Rajapaksa's second temporary shelter in South-East Asia after he fled to Singapore on July 14, via the Maldives.

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