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Sri Lanka Economic Crisis Highlights: Troops ordered to shoot at those damaging public property as protestors gather outside airport, naval base

PM Mahinda Rajapaksa Resignation Updates, Sri Lanka Crisis Highlights, 10 May 2022: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down from his post on Monday.

By: Express Web Desk
New Delhi | Updated: May 11, 2022 9:42:26 am
A Sri Lankan man holds a national flag as police officers conduct investigations into aftermath of clashes between government supporters and anti government protesters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 10, 2022. (AP/PTI)

Sri Lanka protests Highlights: Sri Lanka’s armed forces were ordered Tuesday to shoot at any persons damaging public property or threatening lives, Defence Ministry spokesman Nalin Herath said. This order came as anti-government protesters in Sri Lanka Tuesday set up a checkpoint on the road leading to the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo to prevent the Rajapaksa family loyalists from fleeing the country, amidst violence and widespread protests continued against the regime over the country’s worst economic crisis in decades.

Sri Lanka Economic Crisis |liveFollow Live Updates, May 11

Meanwhile, a protest began in front of Sri Lanka’s Trincomalee Naval Base after reports emerged that former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and some of his family members were there after leaving the official residence in Colombo, a media report said. Trincomalee is a port city on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa left his official Temple Trees residence early on Tuesday morning even as a mob tried to enter the premises.

Violence erupted in Sri Lanka on Monday after supporters of then-prime minister Rajapaksa attacked peaceful anti-government protesters demanding his ouster over the country’s worst economic crisis that led to acute shortages of staple food, fuel and power. Eight people were killed in the ensuing violence.

Live Blog

Sri Lanka crisis Highlights: Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns; curfew imposed across nation; Follow latest updates here

21:50 (IST)10 May 2022
Lanka's Opposition party says Rajapaksas may order military intervention if violence continues

Sri Lanka's opposition Marxist party JVP, the third-largest political party in parliament, Tuesday urged protesters to remain extremely peaceful during their anti-government demonstrations, saying indulging in violence would make way for the Rajapaksas to trigger a "military intervention." 

Sri Lankan soldiers stand guard next to burnt buses a day after clashes between government supporters and anti-government protesters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 10, 2022. (AP/PTI)

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) general secretary Tilwin Silva said that resorting to violence would be playing into the hands of the Rajapaksas. “We stress that indulging in violence would make way for the Rajapaksas to trigger a military intervention,” Silva said.

He said the protests must be persisted until President Gotabaya Rajapaksa also resigns. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the elder brother of the President, resigned on Monday. (PTI)

21:13 (IST)10 May 2022
In photos: Violent protests rock Sri Lanka

A day after Mahinda Rajapaksa submitted his resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksha, violent clashes and protests rocked Sri Lanka. Clashes between pro-government and anti-government forces have prompted authorities to deploy armed troops in the capital, Colombo. More photos here. 

20:51 (IST)10 May 2022
China says ‘closely following' violence in Lanka; asks citizens to be alert

China on Tuesday said it is “closely following” the violent turn of events in Sri Lanka, where it has substantial investments, and asked the Chinese nationals working in the island nation to be alert and on guard against risks.

Beijing, while watching warily the fast unfolding of events in Sri Lanka, has not yet commented on the resignation of prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who paved the way for large-scale Chinese investments, including in his hometown Hambantota port, which China took over on a 99-year lease as a debt swap. Rajapaksa's resignation was seen as a setback for China as he promoted the Chinese investments, disregarding concerns from India and criticism from the US and western countries.

“The bloodshed and conflict took place in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo and other places, causing relatively large casualties,” China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here on Tuesday while commenting on the dire situation in the island nation. “Sri Lanka's police have enforced curfew so far. The Chinese side is closely following the development of the situation. We believe that with the joint efforts of all sectors of Sri Lanka, the country will regain peace and stability as soon as possible,” Zhao said. (PTI)

20:27 (IST)10 May 2022
Is that what it looks like?

A man looks at a damaged bus after it was set on fire during a clash of pro and anti-government demonstrators near the Prime Minister's official residence, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka on May 10, 2022.

Photo via Reuters
19:52 (IST)10 May 2022
Sri Lanka troops ordered to shoot at any persons damaging public property

Sri Lanka's armed forces were ordered on Tuesday to shoot at any persons damaging public property or threatening lives, Defence Ministry spokesman Nalin Herath said.

The island nation has been rocked by a bout of violence that has left at least eight people dead and 200 injured amid its worst economic crisis in history. (Reuters)

19:28 (IST)10 May 2022
With brother Mahinda’s resignation, road only gets tougher for Gotabaya

The reluctant resignation of Mahinda Rajapakse as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on Monday came three days after his brother president Gotabaya Rajapaksa reportedly asked him at a cabinet meeting to step down and pave the way for an interim government with the participation of opposition parties.

Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, center, with his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. (AP/File)

His decision to send in his resignation to the President – it is unclear if it has been accepted – in the wake of the shocking violence unleashed by his supporters on peaceful protestors at Colombo and its outskirts, has not yet resolved the political impasse. And it has hardly appeased the people who have been protesting against President Rajapaksa and demanding that he resign. (Read more)

18:38 (IST)10 May 2022
Sri Lankan President urges people to stop 'violence and acts of revenge'

Embattled Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday urged people to stop "violence and acts of revenge" against fellow citizens and vowed to address the political and economic crisis facing the nation, even as the death toll rose to eight in the unprecedented violence that erupted after supporters of former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attacked anti-government protesters in Colombo.

President Gotabaya tweeted in his first comments since the outbreak of the violence that saw arson attacks on the homes of several former ministers and politicians. Sri Lanka's Attorney General on Tuesday asked the police chief to conduct an urgent and full-fledged investigation into the violent clashes between anti- and pro-government protesters in the country. (PTI)

17:56 (IST)10 May 2022
Protesters set up checkpoint on road leading to airport to prevent Rajapaksa loyalists from fleeing Sri Lanka

Anti-government protesters in Sri Lanka on Tuesday set up a checkpoint on the road leading to the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo to prevent the Rajapaksa family loyalists from fleeing the country, as violence and widespread protest continued against the regime over the country's worst economic crisis in decades.

"Large group of people have set up a checkpoint on the road leading to the Katunayake Airport. They are trying to prevent ruling faction loyalists from fleeing the country," News 1st channel reported. The Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo is locally known as Katunayake Airport. (PTI)

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17:14 (IST)10 May 2022
Cricket Australia monitor situation in Sri Lanka ahead of tour

Cricket Australia is monitoring the unrest in Sri Lanka but is confident the national team's seven-week tour of the island will go ahead as scheduled in June and July, the governing body said on Tuesday.

Australia announced three strong squads last month for the tour, which includes a Twenty20 series, five one-day internationals as well as two tests in Galle. An Australia "A" team will also play four matches. Two of the T20 matches that kick off the tour early next month are in the capital Colombo, where the worst of Monday's violence took place, as are three of the one-day internationals and two of the "A" matches. (Reuters)

16:26 (IST)10 May 2022
Protests at Lankan naval base housing ex-PM Mahinda Rajapaksa

A protest began in front of Sri Lanka's Trincomalee Naval Base on Tuesday after reports emerged that former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and some of his family members were there after leaving the official residence in Colombo, a media report said.

A protest has begun in front of the Trincomalee Naval Base after reports Mahinda Rajapaksa and some of his family members are there after leaving Temple Trees, the official residence of prime minister, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported. Trincomalee is a port city on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka.

Mahinda Rajapaksa left his official Temple Trees residence early on Tuesday morning even as a mob tried to enter the premises. Throughout the night on Monday, the police fired teargas shells to quell mobs trying to enter the Temple Trees residence. (PTI)

16:20 (IST)10 May 2022
Sri Lanka's Speaker asks President to reconvene Parliament this week

Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker on Tuesday requested embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to reconvene the House this week to discuss the current situation. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeyawardene said he had telephoned President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with his request. 

Parliamentary officials said the President will be required to reconvene Parliament ahead of its scheduled date of May 17 as there is no Prime Minister and a government currently. (PTI)

15:43 (IST)10 May 2022
India fully supportive of Sri Lanka's democracy, stability & economic recovery: MEA

India on Tuesday said it is "fully supportive" of Sri Lanka's democracy, stability and economic recovery, a day after the island nation's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa quit amid massive protests in the country over the government's handling of the economic crisis.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "India will always be guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes." He was responding to media queries on the developments in Sri Lanka. "As a close neighbour of Sri Lanka, with historical ties, India is fully supportive of its democracy, stability and economic recovery," Bagchi said.

He also mentioned the assistance India provided to help Sri Lanka deal with the economic crisis. "In keeping with our Neighbourhood First policy, India has extended this year alone support worth over $3.5 billion to the people of Sri Lanka for helping them overcome their current difficulties," Bagchi said. 

13:50 (IST)10 May 2022
Attorney General tells police chief to launch investigation on violence in country

Sri Lanka's Attorney General asked the police chief to conduct an urgent and full-fledged investigation into the violent clashes between anti- and pro-government protesters in the country that has killed at least eight people and injured over 200 others.

Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam has advised the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to conduct a full-fledged investigation into the incidents of unlawful interference into the people's constitutional rights, the circumstances that led to them; and, the consequent commission of penal offences in the process, News First news portal reported.

In a letter to the IGP, the Attorney General said that as the incident in metropolitan Colombo triggered sporadic acts of violence of serious nature involving people and their property all over the country, he advised the police chief to further investigate the aftermath of the incidents, the report said. He urged the IGP to complete the investigation on an urgent priority basis. (PTI)

12:37 (IST)10 May 2022
Colombo Stock Exchange declares Tuesday as market holiday

The Colombo Stock Exchange has declared Tuesday as a market holiday due to settlement difficulties, nearly a month after it remained closed for a week amid the worst economic crisis in Sri Lanka.

“The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has been informed that the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka will not be operated today (10th May 2022)," a CSE circular said.

"Therefore, the Central Depository System (CDS) of the CSE is unable to complete the fund settlement and the securities settlement falling on 10th May 2022 as per the DVP settlement mechanism," it said. "In the circumstances, the CSE has declared today (10th May 2022) as a market holiday due to the aforesaid operational reasons,” the circular said. (PTI)

11:53 (IST)10 May 2022
Death toll in Sri Lanka violence rises to eight

The death toll rose to eight on Tuesday in the unprecedented violence in Sri Lanka that erupted after supporters of former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attacked peaceful anti-government protesters demanding his ouster over the country's worst economic crisis.

Over 200 people have also been injured in the violence in Colombo and other cities.

The violence saw arson attacks on the homes of several politicians, including the ancestral home of the Rajapaksas in Hambantota. Video footage showed the entire house of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Medamulana in Hambantota city was burning.

The Colombo national hospital said at least 217 people had been admitted for treatment. (PTI)

11:30 (IST)10 May 2022
Colombo calm after clashes that killed five

Streets were calm in the Sri Lankan commercial capital of Colombo, following a day of clashes that killed five people and injured more than 200, police said, in violence that prompted Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign.

"The situation is calmer now, though there are still reports of sporadic unrest," said police spokesman Nihal Thalduwa, adding that five people were killed in separate clashes and about 200 injured as violence flared nationwide.

No arrests have yet been made in the isolated incidents of violence, he said, adding that three of the deaths had been from gunshot injuries. (Reuters)

10:48 (IST)10 May 2022
Curfew extended till Wednesday; trade unions to launch strike from today

An all-island curfew, which was scheduled to be lifted on Tuesday, was extended last night until Wednesday as arson attacks were reported from most parts of the country.

Army chief General Shavendra Silva called for calm and said the necessary action would be taken to maintain law and order.
In the current state of emergency, the troops are given extensive powers to arrest people.

The Opposition parties urged the reconvening of Parliament before the scheduled date of May 17.

The trade unions announced that they would launch a continuous strike from Tuesday to protest against the government-backed crackdown on the peaceful protests.

10:46 (IST)10 May 2022
Curfew extended till Wednesday; trade unions to launch strike from today

An all-island curfew, which was scheduled to be lifted on Tuesday, was extended last night until Wednesday as arson attacks were reported from most parts of the country.

Army chief General Shavendra Silva called for calm and said the necessary action would be taken to maintain law and order.
In the current state of emergency, the troops are given extensive powers to arrest people.

The Opposition parties urged the reconvening of Parliament before the scheduled date of May 17.

The trade unions announced that they would launch a continuous strike from Tuesday to protest against the government-backed crackdown on the peaceful protests.

10:04 (IST)10 May 2022
Mahinda Rajapaksa faces calls for arrest as Sri Lanka violence claims five lives

Sri Lanka's former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is facing calls for his arrest from Opposition politicians for inciting violence against peaceful anti-government protesters that claimed at least five lives, left over 200 people injured and saw arson attacks on the homes of several politicians.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, 76, resigned as Sri Lankan Prime Minister on Monday amid unprecedented economic turmoil, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters, prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy Army troops in the capital.

The resignation of the prime minister has automatically annulled the Cabinet and the country is currently being run by his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Mahinda Rajapaksa has been accused by the Opposition of inciting the ruling party mobs to attack peaceful protesters by making a defiant speech while addressing several thousands of his supporters to deflect calls for his resignation. (PTI)

22:47 (IST)09 May 2022
Protesters set ablaze vehicles of SLPP MPs

Vehicles of Sri Lanka's ruling party supporters burn after set on fire during a clash with anti-government demonstrators, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is witnessing an unprecedented economic turmoil with its government running out of money for essential imports like staple foods and fuel. Protesting against the government, thousands of people have taken to the streets across the nation since April 9 demanding resignation of both the President and the Prime Minister. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, leading the embattled government in the crisis-hit country, wanted Mahinda’s resignation to form an interim administration to solve the present political impasse.

Taking to twitter, Mahinda wrote, “Effective immediately I have tendered my resignation as Prime Minister to the President.” In his resignation letter, Mahinda said “I write to inform (you) that I have decided to resign from the post of prime minister with immediate effect. This is in line with your request made at the special cabinet meeting held on May 6, wherein you said that you intend to set up an all party interim government.”

He said that he will be “ready to make any sacrifice even in the future in order to help the people and the government overcome the present crisis.”

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First published on: 09-05-2022 at 07:41:30 pm
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