Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to return to Sri Lanka on Aug 24

Former Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Rajapaksa's cousin Udayanga Weeratunga, who appeared before an investigation into a procurement of MiG aircraft during the civil war against Tamil rebels, said that the former President would return to the country. Gotabaya was the powerful Defence Secretary during the last stages of war.

Ex-Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country following protests against economic crisis in the island nation, will return to Sri Lanka on August 24.

Former Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Rajapaksa's cousin Udayanga Weeratunga, who appeared before an investigation into a procurement of MiG aircraft during the civil war against Tamil rebels, said that the former President would return to the country. Gotabaya was the powerful Defence Secretary during the last stages of war.

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"Gotabaya should return to the country and people will welcome him but he would not continue in politics as he is not suitable," Weeratunga, who was critical of the role of Gotabaya as a President, told media.

"Gotabaya must be a good administrator but he is not suitable for politics," Weeratunga who praised his other cousin and former President and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

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After protesters stormed President's house and office on July 9, Gotabaya went into hiding and later fled to the Maldives and then to the Singapore. On a request of Sri Lankan government, Gotabaya entered Thailand last week.

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The Thailand government denied reports that the Sri Lankan ex-president had sought asylum there.

The Thailand Foreign Ministry said it received a request from Rajapaksa to visit the country with no intention of seeking political asylum.

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"Thailand saw no problem with Rajapaksa entering on a diplomatic passport, which would allow him to stay 90 days," Thailand Foreign Ministry had stated.

The island nation has been facing unprecedented economic crisis.

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