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Sri Lanka Crisis: 8 People Killed, 200 Injured Amid Unprecedented Violence

Former Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family meanwhile took shelter in a naval base in Trincomalee.

Updated
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3 min read

Video Producer: Naman Shah

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

The death toll amid unprecedented violence in Sri Lanka rose to eight on Tuesday, 10 May, after a clash broke out between supporters of former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who resigned on Monday, 9 May, and protesters who were demanding his resignation. Meanwhile, the former PM and his family reportedly took shelter in a naval base in the country's port city of Trincomalee.

More than 200 people were also injured amid the violence that took place in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo and other cities, PTI reported.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka extended the curfew for another day, till 7 am 12 May, amid the ongoing violence.

There were also attacks on the houses of politicians, including those of President Gotabaya and his brother, Mahinda. Video footage showed the ancestral home of the Rajapaksa brothers in Hambantota's Medamulana getting torched amid the protests.

Meanwhile, former PM Mahinda's house in Kurunegala was set ablaze by protesters. Also, a mob destroyed a memorial constructed in honour of Mahinda and Gotabaya's father, DA Rajapaksa.
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Shots were fired in the air from inside the Sri Lankan PM's office on Monday to prevent agitated protesters from breaching the inner security ring of the residence where outgoing premier Mahinda was holed up.

Politicians Attacked

AV Sarath Kumara, chairman of the Imaduwa Pradeshiya Sabha, also died after he was attacked in his private residence on Monday. Earlier, amid the altercation, MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala fired from his vehicle, critically wounding two demonstrators. The lawmaker was later found dead.

Anti-government demonstrators set fire to the house owned by Sanath Nishantha, a minister in resigned PM Mahinda Rajapaksa's Cabinet, after ruling party supporters stormed the anti-government protest camp in Arachchikattuwa.

Former minister Johnston Fernando's residence in Mount Lavinia was also targeted by the protesters. Footage from the scene showed plumes of smoke filling up the air.

Meanwhile, the Colombo National Hospital said that at least 217 people were currently undergoing treatment amid the violence.

Former PM Mahinda Takes Shelter in Naval Base

Former PM Mahinda and his family meanwhile reportedly took shelter in a naval base in the country's port city of Trincomalee. They were flown in a helicopter to the base amid protests in the country, NDTV reported, quoting sources.

LoP Blasts SL President, PM

Meanwhile, the Leader of the Opposition in Sri Lanka, Sajith Premadasa, called the attack on the anti-government protesters an act of state and political terrorism.

"Everyone involved in this government, including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, must be held responsible for this inhumane attack (on anti-govt protesters). This was planned and an act of state and political terrorism," he said, as per Reuters.

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Background

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya had declared a state of emergency in the country from 7 May onwards, giving security forces sweeping powers amid anti-government protests. This marked the second time in five weeks that an emergency was declared in the country.

The island nation has been going through an economic meltdown of a scale unseen since the country's financial crisis of 1948. Prices of essential commodities like rice, milk, and oil have skyrocketed, resulting in massive nationwide protests and political instability.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI, and NDTV.)

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Topics:  Sri Lanka   Mahinda Rajapaksa   Protests 

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