Ex-Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa applies for US Green Card: Report

Colombo (Sri Lanka)(TIP): Former Sri Lankan President GotabayaRajapaksa, who fled the island nation in July amid mass protests demanding his resignation, is awaiting to obtain a US Green Card to return back to the United States along with his wife and son, a media report said.

Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia, UdayangaWeeratunga, who is also related to Gotabaya, hinted that GotabayaRajapaksa is all set to return to the country on August 24, cancelling his initial plan to remain in Thailand at least till November. After consulting his lawyers two days back, Rajapaksa had decided to return to Sri Lanka later this month, Daily Mirror reported citing sources.

Sri Lankan Newspaper, Daily Mirror, citing highly placed sources stated that Rajapaksa’s lawyers in the United States had already commenced the procedure last month for his application to obtain the Green Card as he was eligible to apply due to his wife IomaRajapaksa being a US citizen.

The procedure will also involve his lawyers in Colombo submitting the additional documents.

Upon his arrival in Bangkok, Thai Police had advised the former Sri Lankan President to remain indoors for security reasons whereas, on his arrival in Sri Lanka this month, the Cabinet will discuss providing Rajapaksa a state house and security accorded to a former President. GotabayaRajapaksa arrived in Thailand on the evening of August 11 following his departure from Singapore after a month-long stay.

Thailand was the second Southeast Asian country after the Maldives that Rajapaksa is seeking temporary shelter after fleeing his island nation last month amid mass protests.

The former President was issued a 14-day visit pass when he arrived at the Changi Airport in Singapore from the Maldives last month and he was allowed to stay there for two weeks. After the resignation of GotabayaRajapaksa, RanilWickremesinghe was sworn in as President of Sri Lanka on July 21 in Parliament.

The 73-year-old GotabayaRajapaksa had gone into hiding after crowds of protesters stormed his residence on July 9. RanilWickremesinghe was then sworn in as President of Sri Lanka on July 21 in Parliament before Chief Justice JayanthaJayasuriya. Earlier, Wickremesinghe was appointed as the interim president of Sri Lanka after Rajapaksa fled abroad after his palace was stormed by angry protesters amid the unprecedented economic crisis. (ANI)

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