Prayut confirms ousted Sri Lankan president will temporarily stay in Thailand

Prayut confirms ousted Sri Lankan president will temporarily stay in Thailand

Gotabaya Rajapaksa (left) sings the national anthem during the country's 74th Independence Day celebrations in Colombo on Feb 4, 2022. He resigned as president in July after fleeing the country. (Reuters photo)
Gotabaya Rajapaksa (left) sings the national anthem during the country's 74th Independence Day celebrations in Colombo on Feb 4, 2022. He resigned as president in July after fleeing the country. (Reuters photo)

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

The prime minister confirmed a temporary visit to Thailand by Mr Rajapaksa for humanitarian reasons, and said he promised not to conduct political activities in the kingdom during his search for a third country that will offer him permanent refuge.

"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," Gen Prayut said.

Reuters reported earlier that he would arrive on Thursday from Singapore.

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

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

The minister said a condition for his stay was that he not cause problems for Thailand.


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