Ex-Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to return to US, applies for Green Card: Report

Published on Aug 19, 2022 12:09 PM IST

The ex president's lawyers cited his wife - Loma Rajapaksa, who is a US citizen - as grounds for his eligibility. Rajapaksa renounced his citizenship in 2019 to contest presidential elections.

File photo of Sri Lanka's former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.(REUTERS)
File photo of Sri Lanka's former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.(REUTERS)

Former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa - who fled in July this year after violent protests over the economic crisis in the island nation - has applied for to the United States government for a Green Card, multiple news agencies reported Thursday. Reports indicate Rajapaksa's lawyers have begun the application for what is permanent residency in the US.

The ex president's lawyers cited his wife - Loma Rajapaksa, who is a US citizen - as grounds for his eligibility. Rajapaksa renounced his citizenship in 2019 to contest presidential elections.

Rajapaksa and his wife are now in Thailand. He will return to Sri Lanka on August 25.

Moving from country to country

Before Thailand, Rajapaksa was in Singapore for over a month.

He arrived in Thailand on the evening of August 11. Thailand was the second southeast Asian country - after the Maldives - in which he sought temporary shelter.

Security concerns in Thailand

According to local media, Rajapaksa is confined to a hotel in Bangkok and is not allowed to step outside due to security concerns. The Bangkok Post said plain-clothes police officers have been deployed outside the hotel, the location of which is classified.

Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka on July 13 after it was hit with widespread anti-government protests. As anger grew among protesters they stormed the presidential palace, after which Rajapaksa was moved to the Maldives. From there he moved to Singapore.

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