BANGKOK, Aug 10 —  Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa can enter Thailand as requested by his country’s government, but his stay there will be temporary. 

Director-General of the Department of Information and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Tanee Sangrat said in a statement the consideration to allow Gotabaya in was based on long-standing and cordial ties between the two countries.

“As a holder of a Sri Lankan diplomatic passport, the former president (Gotabaya) is able to enter Thailand without a visa for a period of 90 days, according to the 2013 Agreement on Visa Exemption between Thailand and Sri Lanka.

“The stay is temporary in nature with the aim of onward travel. No political asylum has been sought,” he said when asked to comment on reports on Gotabaya’s move to Thailand from Singapore.

However, he did not disclose when Gotabaya will enter the kingdom but media had reported that he is expected to arrive in Thailand on Thursday.

Thailand would be the second southeast Asian country Gotabaya is seeking temporary shelter. He fled Sri Lanka in July to Singapore on July 14 via the Maldives amid mass protest over the island nation’s worst economic crisis in seven decades.  

Last month, Singapore’s foreign ministry issued a statement confirming that Gotabaya had been allowed entry into Singapore on a “private visit”.

Singapore’s MFA spokesperson said Gotabaya neither has requested asylum nor has been granted any asylum.


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