Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who last month fled anti-government protests in his country, has arrived in Thailand on a flight from Singapore, where he had been staying since mid-July.
A senior Thai official said the former leader landed on a private jet at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport around 8pm local time (13:00 GMT).
He left the airport’s VIP section around 40 minutes later with his wife and got into a black sedan, local media reported.
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-ocha said that 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 the neighbouring Maldives in a Sri Lankan military plane and then to Singapore, where his visa expired yesterday.
He submitted his resignation only after he left Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankans have staged massive street protests for months demanding democratic reforms and solutions to the country’s economic collapse.
Credit: AL Jazeera