Sri Lanka’s ousted president is expected to go to Thailand. PHOTO/Reuters
As Reuters reported, Rajapaksa fled to Singapore on July 14, via the Maldives. He fled after the outbreak of unprecedented unrest in Sri Lanka due to the worst economic crisis in seven decades. Thousands of protesters also reportedly stormed the president’s official residence and office.
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The retired military officer later resigned from the presidency. Rajapaksa became the first Sri Lankan president to quit mid-term. He is expected to leave Singapore for the Thai capital, Bangkok, said two sources who asked not to be named.
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Thai government spokeswoman Ratchada Thanadirek told Reuters there was “no comment”.
Rajapaksa has not appeared or commented publicly since leaving Sri Lanka. Singapore’s government said this month that the city-state did not grant Rajapaksa any privileges or immunities.
Rajapaksa served in the Sri Lankan military and later as Minister of Defence. During his tenure as defense minister, government forces finally defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009 to end Sri Lanka’s civil war.
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Some rights groups now want allegations that Rajapaksa committed war crimes to be investigated. Rajapaksa had previously vehemently denied the allegations.
Some critics and protesters have also accused Rajapaksa and his family of mishandling the economy during his tenure as president, which led to the country’s worst financial crisis since independence from Britain in 1948.