Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's stay in S'pore extended by another 14 days

He was expected to return home according to previous speculations.

Tan Min-Wei | July 27, 2022, 12:13 PM

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Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has had his short-term visit pass extended by another 14 days, according to The Straits Times.

Extended duration

Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka on July 13 after massive street protests, arriving in Singapore via the Maldives on July 14. When he arrived in Singapore, he was still President of Sri Lanka, resigning via email on July 15.

He has since been replaced as president by his former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the former president had been granted permission to enter on a private visit, and that he had neither asked for nor had been granted asylum.

In an earlier report by The Straits Times, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore had confirmed that Rajapaksa had been granted a 14-day short term visit pass (STVP), and that visitors from Sri Lanka are generally issued 30 day STVPs.

Rajapaksa has now had that STVP extended by an additional 14 days.

Rajapaksa had left Sri Lanka after massive street protesters had invaded the presidential residence and offices on July 9, with protesters angered over his government's alleged economic mismanagement, resulting in a massive fuel and food shortage.

Rajapaksa's Return?

This latest development comes as Sri Lankan cabinet spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena said a day earlier on July 26 that Rajapaksa was expected to return to Sri Lanka, although he did not know when exactly, Bloomberg reported.

Saying Rajapaksa was neither in exile nor in hiding, and that the former president was keen to return to Sri Lanka and his private residence in the capital Colombo.

War crimes complaint

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that human rights group The International Truth and Justice Project had filed a criminal complaint with the Singaporean attorney general, calling for Rajapaksa's arrest.

The group submitted a 63-page complaint that said, "Rajapaksa committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions during the civil war in 2009 when he was secretary of defence and that these are crimes subject to domestic prosecution in Singapore under universal jurisdiction."

While the Singaporean attorney general's office acknowledged receipt of the complaint, it declined to comment further.

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