Sri Lanka’s former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is set to extend his stay in Singapore.
The Straits Times (ST) understands that his short-term visit pass, which was issued when he arrived here on a private visit two weeks ago, has been extended by another fourteen days.
This development comes as Sri Lanka’s Cabinet Spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena told reporters on Tuesday (26) that he was expected to return home.
He added that he was not aware of when the former President was returning but emphasised Rajapaksa was not in hiding, neither was he in exile.
Another Sri Lankan Government Official who asked not to be identified said Rajapaksa wanted to return home as soon as possible and was keen to live again at his private residence in the outskirts of Sri Lanka’s capital of Colombo, Bloomberg News Agency reported.
On July 14, Rajapaksa, 73, was issued a fourteen-day visit pass when he arrived at Changi Airport on a Saudia flight from the Maldives.
ST understands that the new Visa Rajapaksa has been issued will expire on August 11.
Rajapaksa initially stayed at a hotel in the city centre, but is believed to have moved to a private residence.
He has kept a low profile since he arrived, and has not been seen in public.
Shortly after he arrived on July 14, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson confirmed that Rajapaksa had been allowed entry on a private visit, and said he had not asked for asylum, and had not been granted asylum.
Singapore generally does not grant requests for asylum, the Spokesperson added.
Last Wednesday (20), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in response to media queries that visitors from Sri Lanka who enter Singapore for social visits will generally be issued with a short-term visit pass with a duration of up to thirty days.
Those who need to extend their stay here may apply online for extension of their visit pass. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, said ICA.