The outgoing President of Sri Lanka received a temporary residence in Thailand

Outgoing Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to arrive in Thailand on Thursday for a temporary stay, as he fled his country last month amid massive protests.

Two sources said Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s first mid-term president to step down, is expected to travel from Singapore to Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, on Thursday. It was not clear when he would arrive.

The Thai authorities said that Rajapaksa did not intend to seek political asylum, but would only stay temporarily.

“This is a humanitarian issue and there is an agreement that this is a temporary residence,” Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha told reporters, stressing that Rajapaksa cannot engage in any political activities while he is in Thailand.

Foreign Minister Don Pramodvinai said the current government of Sri Lanka supported Rajapaksa’s visit to Thailand, indicating that the former president’s diplomatic passport would allow him to stay in Thailand for 90 days.

Rajapaksa fled to Singapore on July 14 and resigned shortly thereafter following unprecedented riots over his government’s handling of the worst economic crisis in seven decades and days after thousands of protesters stormed the president’s official residence and office.

Source: Reuters

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