As battered Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa scrambled to flee crisis-hit country after protestors took over his official residence, Sri Lankan media claimed that the Indian government has refused him permission to land at a civilian airport in the country using an air force jet.
SBS Sinhala, reporting on the matter, said: “The Indian government refused to allow a Sri Lankan air force AN32, carrying the president, to land at an Indian civilian airport.”
At the same time, some reports claimed that the US embassy in Colombo denied Gotabaya Rajapaksa a visitor’s visa to enter the country.
Rajapaksa, back in 2019, had given up his US citizenship to contest Presidential election. SBS Sinhala, quoting a US diplomatic source, reported that Rajapaksa had asked the US embassy in Colombo for a visa for him to travel to California over the weekend but was refused.
Rajapaksa’s family are still US citizens and reside in the country.
The US Embassy, according to the report, told Rajapaksa that a person who has renounced US citizenship cannot be given a visitor’s visa unless under very exceptional circumstances such as the death of an immediate family member or urgent medical treatment that is available only in the US.
The Embassy representative, as per report, told: “It was made very clear to him that there will be no visa for him. He could go there as a head of state without a visa, but the current circumstances are different.”
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