COLOMBO: The former President of Sri Lanka 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, Udayanga Weeratunga, who is also related to Gotabaya, hinted that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is all set 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 back 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 Ioma Rajapaksa 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.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa 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 Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as President of Sri Lanka on July 21 in Parliament.
73-year-old Gotabaya Rajapaksa had gone into hiding after crowds of protesters stormed his residence on July 9. Ranil Wickremesinghe was then sworn in as President of Sri Lanka on July 21 in Parliament before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya.
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.
Wickremesinghe was earlier appointed as interim president of Sri Lanka as Rajapaksa fled abroad after his palace was stormed by angry protesters amid the unprecedented economic crisis.
Sri Lanka continues to face a severe shortage of fuel and other essential supplies and is in the throes of its worst-ever economic crisis with soaring inflation. The oil supply shortage has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice. The people of the island nation are expecting the IMF to give a bailout package.
Sri Lanka has been facing its worst economic crisis since its independence.