Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will return back to Sri Lanka in November after his 90 day Thai visa runs out, and as he runs out of options to receive temporary shelter in another country, the Daily Mirror learns.
Political sources said that Rajapaksa will leave Singapore today and visit Thailand where he will stay for 90 days on a visit visa and he had not sought asylum in any country.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan O Cha yesterday confirmed to foreign media that Rajapaksa would be granted entry into Thailand on humanitarian grounds and they had been promised that it was only a temporary stay.
The Sri Lankan government had directly made an appeal on behalf of the ousted President and sought permission to allow Rajapaksa to seek temporary shelter in Thailand.
From the time Rajapaksa left Colombo last month for the Maldives, the Sri Lankan government has been in touch with the Maldives, Singapore and now the Thailand government, making arrangements for Rajapaksa to remain in those countries temporarily.
However as the 90 day Thai visa runs out in November, political sources said that Rajapaksa will return back to Sri Lanka as he was a Sri Lankan citizen and had all the legal right to remain in the country.
The Daily Mirror also learns that the multiple costs for the Rajapaksas to flee from the country was borne by himself and his son Manoj Rajapaksa and no state funds had been utilized thus far except for the Air Force flight that was used to transport him and his wife from Colombo to Male last month.
The Rajapaksas, with their high connections overseas, also have rich businessmen who are funding the former President’s accommodation. It is still unclear what accommodation arrangements have been made in Thailand for Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his wife.
Although several attempts had been made for Rajapaksa to seek asylum in the Middle East, he had not received any favourable response which is why a decision has now been taken for him to return back to Sri Lanka in November. (JAMILA HUSAIN)