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Thailand takes in GR on ‘humanitarian grounds’ 

  • To stay until permanent refuge found elsewhere
  • No permission for political activities or Govt.-arranged accommodation    

Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who arrived in Thailand from Singapore yesterday (11), has been permitted to stay in Thailand temporarily by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on “humanitarian grounds”, and on the condition of refraining from political activities, while he seeks permanent refuge elsewhere. 

The Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday (10) night that Chan-o-cha has confirmed that Rajapaksa will temporarily reside in Thailand while looking for permanent refuge in another country.

Chan-o-cha has stated that the conditions for Rajapaksa’s stay include that he does not engage in any political activity, adding that he had been allowed to come in due to “humanitarian reasons”.

Thailand’s Foreign Ministry has stated that Rajapaksa can stay in Thailand for 90 days, as he is still a diplomatic passport holder. Furthermore, the Ministry has stated that the Government of Sri Lanka does not oppose Rajapaksa’s visit. However, the Thailand Government, the Ministry noted, will not be managing his accommodation. 

Rajapaksa was due to fly into Thailand from Singapore yesterday (11). Reports show that he left Singapore yesterday. 

Last month, the International Trust and Justice Project filed a criminal complaint with the Singaporean Attorney General against Rajapaksa, alleging his involvement in alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, and calling for his arrest under universal jurisdiction. 

He initially fled to the Maldives, after a massive public uprising which saw thousands of civilians occupy his official residence and the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo until he finally resigned on 15 July. The resignation came months after islandwide protests began, demanding his resignation, as the public held him responsible for Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis in history.