BANGKOK (AP) – Former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who last month fled anti-government protests in his country, arrived in Thailand on Thursday night on a flight from Singapore, where he had been staying since mid-July.
Thai television stations showed Rajapaksa and a woman believed to be his wife outside the VIP hall at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport being led to a limousine, which then drove off to an undisclosed destination.
Officials in Thailand on Wednesday said they had been asked by the Sri Lankan government to allow him entry, and that he would be permitted to stay temporarily.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha said he was aware of Rajapaksa’s intended visit and that it was allowed for humanitarian reasons because the former president was seeking asylum in a third country. He did not elaborate but said Rajapaksa would not engage in political activity while in Thailand.
Rajapaksa has made no public comments about his travel plans. After fleeing Sri Lanka last month, he first went to neighbouring Maldives in a Sri Lankan military plane and then to Singapore, where his visa expired on Thursday.