At Least 8 Killed, Over 200 Injured In Sri Lanka Violence, Leaders’ Homes Torched

Colombo: Mahinda Rajapaksa (76), who resigned as Sri Lankan Prime Minister on Monday, faced calls for his arrest from Opposition politicians after violence during anti-government protests claimed at least eight lives, left over 200 injured and saw homes of several politicians set on fire, PTI reported.

Rajapaksa vacated Temple Trees, the PM’s official residence, on Tuesday morning, according to reports. Police on Monday used tear gas and fired in the air after a mob tried to break into the PM’s residence.

The country is currently being run by his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Opposition parties accused Mahinda Rajapaksa of inciting attacks on peaceful protesters. “Rajapaksa (Mahinda) must be arrested,” M A Sumanthiran, the main Tamil legislator, said.

“He must be arrested for encouraging violence. There was no reason to attack the peaceful protesters,” former President Maithripala Sirisena said.

At least eight people have been killed in violence. At the Colombo national hospital, at least 217 people have been admitted for treatment. One of the protesters brutally assaulted by Rajapaksa supporters remains critical, PTI reported.

There have been arson attacks on the homes of ruling party politicians, including on the ancestral house of the Rajapaksa family in Hambantota district.

MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala opened fire and critically wounded two people blocking his car in Nittambuwa. He then took his own life trying to take refuge in a nearby building.

Thousands of demonstrators have been taking to the streets since early April as the country faces acute shortages of fuel, medicines and electricity supply, while prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed.

The crisis has been caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has meant that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel.

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