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Thailand allows Gotabaya Rajapaksa temporary stay on condition he doesn't cause problems for country

11 Aug 2022

Colombo [Sri Lanka], August 11 (ANI): Thailand has allowed former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa temporary stay in Thailand to look for permanent asylum in another country on the condition that he does not cause problems for the country.

"Former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa will temporarily stay in Thailand to look for permanent asylum in another country," Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said.

"This is a humanitarian issue. We have made a promise that it's a temporary stay. No political activities are allowed, and this will help him find a country to take refuge in," Colombo Gazette quoted Prayut citing Thailand Media.

Thailand Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said the ousted president can stay in Thailand for 90 days as he is still a diplomatic passport holder.

"Sri Lankan government did not oppose the visit and the Thai government would not make accommodation arrangements for him," Pramudwinai said adding that the visit would not pose conflicts with Colombo as acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe had worked for him when he was in power.

The minister said that a condition for Rajapaksa's stay was that he should not cause problems for Thailand, Colombo Gazette reported.

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

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Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to travel to Bangkok from Singapore on August 11 when his visa is no longer valid.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 his palace was stormed by angry protesters 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 a bailout package.

Sri Lanka has been facing a severe food crisis since its independence. The rate of food inflation is over 80 per cent till June and this trend is likely to pick up in the coming months.

Since the beginning of 2022, Sri Lanka has experienced an escalating economic crisis and the government has defaulted on its foreign loans. The United Nations warned that 5.7 million people require immediate humanitarian assistance. (ANI)

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