Sri Lankan protesters are burning the homes of politicians as the country plunges further into chaos

Police in the island nation said Tuesday in addition to the destroyed homes that 75 have been damaged as angry Sri Lankans continue to defy a nationwide curfew to protest what they say is the government’s mismanagement of the country’s worst economic crisis since 1948.

The Department of Defense on Tuesday ordered troops to shoot anyone found damaging state property or assaulting officials after violence left at least eight people dead since Monday, though it is unclear if all the deaths were directly related to the protests. More than 200 people have been injured in the violence.

The nation of 22 million is struggling with a devastating economic crisis where grocery prices are rising and there has been widespread shortages of electricity for weeks. Since March, thousands of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets demanding the government resign.

That the military had to save the country’s outgoing Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in an operation before dawn on Tuesday, a few hours after he withdrew after clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters. The military was called in after protesters twice tried to break into the prime minister’s ‘Temple Trees’ private residential complex overnight, a senior security source told CNN.

His resignation came after live TV footage on Monday showed government supporters, armed with sticks, beating protesters in several places in the capital and tearing down and burning their tents. Dozens of homes were set on fire across the country amid the violence, according to witnesses CNN spoke to.

Armed troops were deployed to disperse the protesters, according to CNN’s team on the ground, while video footage showed police firing tear gas and water cannons.

A nationwide curfew has been imposed until Thursday.

However, it remains unclear whether the curfew and the resignation of the Prime Minister will be enough to cover the increasingly unstable situation in the country.

Many protesters say their ultimate goal is to force President Gotabaya Rajapaksa – the prime minister’s brother – to resign, something he has so far shown no sign of doing.

The president on Tuesday urged citizens to “remain calm and stop the violence and retaliation against citizens, regardless of political affiliation.”

“Every effort will be made to restore political stability through consensus, within the constitutional mandate and to resolve the economic crisis,” the president tweeted.

In a statement on Tuesday, the EU and its 27 member states condemned the “recent malicious attack on peaceful protesters” and called on the authorities to investigate.

“The EU deplores the loss of life, including a Member of Parliament, and the high number of injured people,” the statement said. “The EU recalls the importance of protecting the democratic rights of all citizens and of focusing on solutions that will address the significant challenges facing Sri Lankans at the moment.”

Sri Lanka’s neighbor, India, has also weighed in.

“As a close neighbor of Sri Lanka, with historical ties, India fully supports its democracy, stability and economic recovery,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

“In line with our Neighborhood First policy, India alone has this year extended over $ 3.5 billion in support to the people of Sri Lanka to help them overcome their current difficulties. India will always be governed by the best for the people of Sri Lanka expressed. through democratic processes. “

Sri Lankan protesters are burning the homes of politicians as the country plunges further into chaos

Source link Sri Lankan protesters are burning the homes of politicians as the country plunges further into chaos

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