According to sources, the former President has returned from a Singapore Airlines flight. According to him, he first went from Thailand to Singapore to come back as there are no direct flights between Bangkok in Thailand and Colombo in Sri Lanka.
Image Credit source: PTI File
Nearly two months after escaping from Sri Lanka, its former president Gotabaya Rajapakse Returned home from Thailand on Friday. Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country on July 13 after months of protests demanding his resignation in Sri Lanka turned violent on July 9, amid an unprecedented economic crisis.
At that time, protesters stormed several other government buildings, including the presidential residence in Colombo. Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived at Bandaranaike International Airport here amid heavy security arrangements. He was received by several ministers and MPs from the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).
Rajapaksa will stay in the government bungalow
According to sources, the former President has returned from a Singapore Airlines flight. According to him, he first went from Thailand to Singapore to come back as there are no direct flights between Bangkok in Thailand and Colombo in Sri Lanka. The Daily Mirror has reported that Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be staying at a government bungalow near Wijerama Mwatha here and a large security contingent will be deployed to protect the area.
As a former president, Rajapaksa is entitled to a government bungalow and other facilities. Gotabaya Rajapaksa had earlier escaped from Colombo to Maldives by a Sri Lanka Air Force plane. From Maldives, he left for Singapore, from where he sent his resignation on 14 July. Rajapaksa later flew to Thailand in search of temporary shelter.
Can stay in the country for 90 days
Thailand’s Foreign Minister Don Pramudawinai has said Rajapaksa could stay in the country for up to 90 days as he still holds a diplomatic passport. After Rajapaksa’s ouster, the Sri Lankan Parliament elected the then acting President and six-time Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as his successor. Wickremesinghe had the support of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the largest party in the 225-member parliament.
Media reports said that President Wickremesinghe has made arrangements for his repatriation at the request of Rajapaksa-led SLPP. SLPP general secretary Sagar Kariyawasam had said on August 19 that a request in this regard was made in a meeting with President Wickremesinghe.