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Next stop Thailand – ‘No problem’ for Rajapaksa as visit request confirmed

Thai authorities confirmed that they received a visitation request from former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is reported to fly to the country tomorrow after fleeing to Singapore last month, amidst growing calls for the arrest of the accused war criminal.

Thailand said it had received a request for Rajapaksa to visit the country “but he has no intention of seeking political asylum,” according to a report in Reuters.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Tanee Sangrat reportedly said “Thailand saw no problem with Rajapaksa entering on a diplomatic passport, which would allow him to stay 90 days”. Though Sangrat did not comment on when Rajapaksa intended to visit, it is believed he will land in the country on Thursday.

Rajapaksa's stay in Singapore is due to end tomorrow after he was granted a further 14 days of leave after intially landing in Singapore on July 14. 

He initially fled Sri Lanka to the Maldives last month after mass anti-government protests came to a dramatic head in the capital with tens of thousands of protesters storming his official residence. From there he made his way to Singapore. 

Singapore’s foreign minister said Sri Lanka’s fleeing former president was "not accorded any privileges, immunity or hospitality,” by his government. 

Earlier this month, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) filed a criminal complaint to Singapore's Attorney General, seeking Rajapaksa's "immediate arrest" for committing war crimes. Days later, a group of 17 Tamil and human rights organisations from across the world, also issued a joint letter urging Singapore’s Attorney-General's Chambers to investigate and prosecute Rajapaksa for his involvement in international crimes during the culmination of the Tamil Genocide in 2009. 


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