Sri Lankan official: Exiled man lives like a prisoner in Thailand and will return tomorrow

A senior Sri Lankan defense ministry official said ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will end his stay in Thailand and return to his country on Saturday.

The official added today, Friday, that Gotabaya Rajapaksa “is staying at a Thai hotel as a prisoner and is determined to return,” noting that “we were told he would be back very early on Saturday.”

“We have just set up a new security squad to protect him after his return on Saturday, which includes elements of the army and the police team,” the official added.

He explained that Rajapaksa had a visa allowing him to stay in Thailand for 90 days, but he decided to return with his wife, a bodyguard and another assistant.

Sri Lanka’s constitution provides for bodyguards, vehicles and residences for the country’s former presidents.

Rajapaksa fled the island on July 13, four days after tens of thousands of protesters stormed his home, angered by the deteriorating economic situation.

Sri Lanka, with a population of 22 million, is in the midst of an economic crisis with acute shortages of food, fuel and medical supplies due to a lack of foreign exchange to finance imports.

Source: AFP.

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