Former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived in Thailand on Thursday, according to three Reuters witnesses, as he seek temporary shelter in a second Southeast Asian country after fleeing his island nation last month amid mass protests.
Rajapaksa arrived at Bangkok’s Don Muang airport on a chartered flight from Singapore after the city-state’s immigration authority said in a statement on Thursday he had left Singapore.
Rajapaksa is expected to stay temporarily in Thailand after fleeing Sri Lanka for Singapore on July 14. He resigned from office shortly afterwards following unprecedented unrest 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.
Thai authorities said the former military officer, who is the first Sri Lankan head of state to quit mid-term, had no intention of seeking political asylum and would only stay temporarily.