Former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa and some of his family members fled to the Trincomalee naval base, as a protest erupted in front of their official residence in Colombo. Today’s protest succeed people’s violence since yesterday after supporters of the Rajapaksa regime attacked peaceful anti-government protesters who were demanding his ouster, holding him responsible for the country’s worst economic crisis that led to acute shortages of staple food, fuel and power.
Over 200 people have been injured in the violence in Colombo and other cities.
Seventy-six-year-old Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as prime minister yesterday in the middle of the unprecedented economic downswing, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters, prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy army troops in the capital.
Now the Trincomalee naval base is witnessing demonstrations too after people got a whiff of the fact that Mahinda Rajapaksa and some of his family members took refuge in the hideout after leaving Temple Trees, the official residence of the prime minister.
Trincomalee is a port city on the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka.
Yesterday, the violence involved arson at the houses of several politicians. That included the ancestral place of the Rajapaksas in Hambantota. Video footage showed the entire house of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Medamulana in Hambantota city was burning.
Protestors set on fire Mahinda Rajapaksa’s house in Kurunegala too while a mob destroyed the DA Rajapaksa Memorial, constructed in the memory of the father of Mahinda and Gotabaya, in Medamulana, Hambantota.
Sri Lankans are protesting against soaring prices and power cuts since last month. The island country is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948.
A lack of foreign currency, which means that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices, led to the protests.