Ousted leader to leave next week

Ousted leader to leave next week

Rajapaksa: Fled Sri Lanka amid unrest.
Rajapaksa: Fled Sri Lanka amid unrest.

Ex-Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa will reportedly leave Thailand to return to the island nation next week.

Sri Lankan news agency Newsfirst on Thursday reported that Mr Rajapaksa will return to Sri Lanka for the first time after fleeing the South Asian nation last month following mass demonstrations against him.

Udayanga Weeratunga, former envoy to Russia and Mr Rajapaksa's relative, said he will return on Wednesday, said Newsfirst.

Mr Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka for Singapore on July 14 amid protracted public unrest over the country's worst economic crisis in decades.

He arrived in Bangkok on Aug 11, the same day that his visa in Singapore expired.

Meanwhile, Rachada Dhnadirek, deputy government spokeswoman, on Thursday said the government has donated medical supplies and a 4-million-baht grant to help the struggling island nation.

She said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha acknowledged the political unrest in Sri Lanka and assigned Thai officials to provide aid.

Ms Rachada said Thailand's public and private sectors have donated 235 pharmaceuticals and a grant worth 4 million baht.

"[Thailand and Sri Lanka] have close relations and are bound to Buddhism," she said. "It is an act of empathy during a political and economic crisis that directly affect the lives of Sri Lankans.

"The Thai government is ready to provide humanitarian aid as needed," she said.

Ms Rachada said that the Royal Thai Embassy in Colombo has posted on Facebook, warning Thais in Sri Lanka against participating in any demonstrations.

There have been no reports of Thais being injured in the demonstrations.


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