Sri Lanka’s Ousted President Advised Against Leaving Bangkok Hotel

Ousted Sri Lanka’s president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been advised by Thai police not to leave his hotel in inner Bangkok for security reasons, an informed source said on Friday.

Mr. Rajapaksa traveled from Singapore with three other people, arriving at the capital’s Don Mueang International Airport around 8:00 p.m. Thursday.

The informant said the group first planned to land in Phuket, but the flight was redirected to Bangkok amid concerns about a possible information leak.

Upon arrival, the former Sri Lankan leader was escorted by the Thai military and police personnel to a hotel in central Bangkok.

The hotel’s location was not disclosed, but it is known that plainclothes police officers from the Special Branch Bureau were deployed to ensure Mr. Rajapaksa’s safety. The Thai government has also asked the ousted president to stay inside the hotel during his stay in the country.

Mr. Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka on July 14, heading for Singapore. He resigned as president after being forced to leave for the city-state after his home country’s worst economic crisis in decades sparked massive protests.

The former Sri Lankan president’s Singaporean visa expired this week. He then flew to Thailand, where he was received on humanitarian grounds, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai explained the former leader was allowed to stay in the kingdom for up to 90 days if he carried a diplomatic passport. However, Mr. Rajapaksa has been advised to keep a low profile during his stay.

The ousted president has not made any public appearances since leaving Sri Lanka.

Before becoming president, Mr. Rajapaksa headed the Sri Lankan Defense Ministry under his brother Mr. Mahinda’s tenure when the Tamil separatist conflict caused bloody clashes between soldiers and rebels.

In July, after Mr. Rajapaksa fled Ski Lanka, the International Truth and Justice Project formally petitioned Singapore to charge the former president with crimes against humanity during the civil war that rocked his country for decades.

The South African-based international human rights group urged Singapore to exercise universal jurisdiction to arrest Mr. Rajapaksa for serious breaches of international humanitarian law. It is unknown if the same request has been made to the Thai government.