Top Sri Lanka updates: Military gets power to open fire at rioters, arrest citizens without warrant
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged citizens to remain calm and stop ‘violence and acts of revenge’ irrespective of political affiliations.
Here are the latest updates on the economic crisis in Sri Lanka:
- The Sri Lankan defence ministry on Tuesday granted powers to the armed forces to open fire at anyone looting public property or causing harm to others. The authorities also granted emergency powers to military and police personnel to detain citizens without warrants, PTI reported. Under the order, military personnel can detain citizens for up to 24 hours before handing them over to the police. The order came a day after eight persons were killed and more than 200 were injured in protests against the government’s handling of the economic crisis.
- Protests erupted outside the Trincomalee Naval Base in the northeastern part of the island country after reports emerged that former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had sought refuge there, the Daily Mirror reported on Tuesday. On Monday, Rajapaksa had resigned from his post amid the anti-government protests.
- India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday said that New Delhi will be guided by the “best interests of the Sri Lankan people expressed through democratic processes”, The Indian Express reported. The spokesperson for the ministry, Arindam Bagchi, said that India has extended support worth over $3.5 billion (about Rs 27,007.22 crore) to the island country to help it overcome its current difficulties.
- At Colombo, protestors on Tuesday set up a checkpoint on a road leading up to the Bandaranaike International Airport to prevent loyalists of the Rajapaksa family from escaping from the country, according to PTI.
- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged citizens to remain calm and stop “violence and acts of revenge...” irrespective of political affiliations. “All efforts will be made to restore political stability through consensus, within constitutional mandate & to resolve economic crisis,” he said.