Sri Lanka: Amid growing protests, Rajapaksa flees to naval base

Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday reportedly fled to a naval base amidst the growing protests in the country.

Rajapaksa and his family members have taken shelter at the Trincomalee air base in North-easter Sri Lanka. The former Prime Minister along with his family was flown to the naval base in a helicopter. Protests have erupted outside the naval base, which 270 kilometers away from the national capital, Colombo.

Sri Lankan authorities have imposed a curfew and deployed a large number of security personnel following the worst violence since the outbreak of the protests, reported NDTV. On Monday the former Prime Minister resigned from his post following the death of 200 people.

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Rajapaksa had to be rescued by the security forces as group of protestors allegedly barged into his official residence reported AFP. The family’s grip on political affairs of the nation has been loosened by the long standing crisis, blackouts which have adversely affected the nation since its independence in 1948.

The protest turned violent after Rajapaksa’s supporters entered the capital and began attacking the demonstrators with sticks and stones. Outside Colombo, legislator Amarakeerthi Athukorala was surrounded by protestors. He open fired at the crowd killing a 27-year-old man and injured another.

Athukorala then shot himself dead, his body guard was also found dead at the scene, reported AFP. It is to be noted that protesters set ablaze the residence of at least 41 legislatures from the ruling Sri Lanka People’s Front.

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