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Sri Lanka's Day Of Deadly Violence: Here's All You Need To Know

Sri Lanka Economic Crisis: A political office of the Rajapaksas was also destroyed in an arson attack.


At least five people were killed and almost 200 wounded in Sri Lanka on Monday in a wave of violence between government supporters and demonstrators demanding President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation.

As clashes spread, the authorities imposed an indefinite curfew across the nation of 22 million people and called in the military to help contain the violence.

However, anti-government protesters who had been demonstrating peacefully since April 9 began retaliating across the island.

Here are key incidents:

– MP shoots protesters –

Leaving the capital Colombo on Monday, ruling-party legislator Amarakeerthi Athukorala opened fire on demonstrators blocking his vehicle, killing a 27-year-old man and wounding two others.  

Police said the MP later took his own life. The MP’s bodyguard was also killed, but it was not clear how.

– Rajapaksa museum destroyed –

Mobs attacked the controversial Rajapaksa museum in the ruling family’s ancestral village of Meda Mulana in the deep south of the island and razed it to the ground, police said.

Two wax statues of the Rajapaksa parents were flattened and mobs trashed the building.

A court case is pending over the alleged use of state funds to build the museum, which cost more than half a million dollars.

Police said the home of former premier Mahinda Rajapaksa in his Hambantota constituency was also attacked on Monday evening. He had resigned from his post as prime minister earlier in the day.

A political office of the Rajapaksas in the northwestern town of Kurunegala was also destroyed in an arson attack, police said.

– Houses torched –

Mobs set fire to a truck used by the security forces to block the main entrance to the prime minister’s official Temple Trees residence, a key symbol of state power in the South Asian island.

Police lobbed tear gas and fired shots into the air to beat back the crowds, as thousands of protesters breached the main gate.

Angry mobs stormed the house of Sanath Nishantha, a lawmaker for the ruling party, in the district of Puttalam and set fire to it after damaging property and vehicles.

Nishantha was seen with a group raiding the anti-government “Gota Go Home” campaign in the capital.

The office and home of Johnston Fernando, a strong Rajapaksa loyalist, was set ablaze in the city of Kurunegala, police said, adding that more than a dozen vehicles had gone up in flames.

And the home of Saman Lal Fernando, mayor in the Colombo suburb of Moratuwa, was set ablaze hours after he took eight busloads of municipal workers to show solidarity with the Rajapaksas.

A tourist hotel owned by a close associate of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s children was also set ablaze, along with a Lamborghini car parked inside. There were no casualties among foreign guests, police said.

– Hospital blocked –

Doctors at the main Colombo National Hospital intervened to rescue government supporters who were wounded in clashes with anti-Rajapaksa demonstrators.

“They may be murderers, but for us they are patients who must be treated first,” a doctor shouted at a crowd blocking the entrance to the emergency unit.

Soldiers had to break the locks to force open the gates and enter the hospital to bring in wounded government supporters.

– Lake dunking –

Enraged anti-government protesters pushed dozens of people into the shallow Beira Lake near the Temple Trees residence.

“I came because I got a job from Mahinda (Rajapaksa),” a man said, as he pleaded to be allowed out of the highly polluted lake.

Police tried to rescue the man and more than a dozen others, but were badly outnumbered by anti-government activists.

Three pick-up trucks were also pushed into the lake, along with two buses used to transport Rajapaksa loyalists.

– Buses burned, damaged –

Dozens of buses used by Rajapaksa supporters to travel to Colombo earlier in the day were torched or damaged.

In the suburb of Maharagama, a crowd forced a leader of a pro-government group out of their bus and threw him into a garbage cart, before ramming the vehicle with a bulldozer.

In the heart of the capital, three buses used to transport Rajapaksa loyalists were damaged. Police said mobs had also taken over exits from main expressways to target government supporters leaving the capital.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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