Rajapaksa Gets Short-Term Visit Pass in Singapore Extended Despite Repatriation Announcement

Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday received a 14-day extension to stay in Singapore despite the repatriation announcement.

Reports of the extended visit pass came one day after Sri Lankan Cabinet spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena announced the ex-president was not in hiding and would return to Sri Lanka from Singapore. 

According to reports, Singaporean authorities issued Rajapaksa a 14-day pass when he arrived at Changi Airport on a Saudia flight from the Maldives on July 14. 

Reports said Rajapaksa stayed at a hotel but later moved to a private residence.  

Last week, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore said that visitors from Sri Lanka who enter Singapore for social visits would receive an STVP of up to 30 days. 

A spokesperson from Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Rajapaksa had been allowed entry on a private visit and that the ex-president had not asked for asylum. 

The spokesperson also noted that Singapore does not grant requests for asylum. 

In July, Rajapaksa, 73, fled Sri Lanka after the uprising while protesters broke into the President’s House following months of violent mass protests against his mishandling of the country’s worst economic crisis since 1948. 

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