Singapore’s foreign minister said yesterday that former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was not being accorded any privileges or immunity in Singapore.
Rajapaksa landed in Singapore on July 14, a day after fleeing his crisis-ridden country via Maldives and following a popular uprising that forced him to resign as president.
“In general, the Singapore Government does not accord privileges, immunity and hospitality to former Heads of State or Heads of Government. Consequently, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was not accorded any privileges, immunity or hospitality,” the minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, said.
Vivian was responding to a parliamentary question filed by Workers’ Party MP Gerald Giam on the privileges, immunities and hospitality accorded to former Heads of State or Government who visit and transit through Singapore.
Giam also asked about if there were any public resources used, and whether former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was accorded any privileges, immunities and hospitality in Singapore.
In his written response, Vivian clarified that Rajapaksa was not accorded “any privileges, immunity or hospitality”.
Separately, Minister For Home Affairs (MHA) K Shanmugam said that foreigners who possess a valid travel document and meet entry requirements will be allowed to come into Singapore.
“We also of course reserve the right to deny entry to a foreigner if we assess that to be in our national interests,” he added in his own written reply.
Shanmugam was responding to a question filed by PAP MP Yip Hon Weng, who asked about the policy of allowing foreigners wanted by their own government to transit through Singapore.
If a foreigner coming into Singapore is wanted by his government, and if they had made a request to Singapore, Shanmugam said that Singapore will render assistance in accordance with its laws.