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HomeWorldSri Lanka's deposed president Rajapaksa returns to the country

Sri Lanka’s deposed president Rajapaksa returns to the country

He had been living in Thai hotel as virtual prisoner and was keen to return, media report

Sri Lanka’s deposed former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa ending his self-imposed exile in Thailand has returned home after seven weeks, authorities have said.

The former president was welcomed with flowers by the party ministers and politicians at the airport.

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The 73-year-old had fled the country in July after crowds had stormed his official residence blaming him for the nation’s unprecedented economic crisis.

According to AFP, “He has been living in a Thai hotel as a virtual prisoner and was keen to return.” AFP has also quoted a Sri Lankan official saying that they had created a new security division to protect him after his return.

Singapore had declined to extend Rajapaksa’s visa after which he had travelled to Thailand in August, but authorities in Bangkok instructed him not to step out of his hotel for his own safety.

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According to media report, Rajapaksa’s youngest brother and former finance minister, Basil, had met with the President Wickremesinghe and requested protection to allow Rajapaksa’s return.

Media has also reported that police had deployed plainclothes officers and armed guards outside a government residence allocated to Rajapaksa in Colombo whereas security at his private home was also increased. Police at Colombo airport said that a security operation was underway to prepare for the arrival.

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