PM resigns, takes refuge at naval base

Amidst violent clashes and unrest in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from his post. He handed over his resignation to President and his younger brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Following Rajapaksa’s resignation on May 9 and the ensuing violence started by the pro-government protesters, the anti-government demonstrators surrounded Temple Trees – Prime Minister’s official residence – and tried to forcibly enter the premises.

The military was rushed to his protection and the police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the violent mob. Amid spiraling violence, Rajapaksa, his wife Shiranthi, and their youngest son Rohitha and his family, left Temple Trees, early on May 10 onboard an Air Force helicopter and have now taken refuge at the heavily guarded naval base, an informed military source said.

Reports have also revealed that Rajapaksa’s second son, Yositha, who was also the former Prime Minister’s Secretary, and his family had left the country.

 

India said it was “fully supportive of Sri Lanka’s democracy, stability and economic recovery”, but shot down speculation that New Delhi was planning to send troops to restore order on the island nation.

The denial came from the Indian High Commission in Colombo, a day after it strongly refuted social media chatter that former Sri Lankan prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members had fled to India.

“The High Commission would like to categorically deny speculative reports in sections of media and social media about #India sending her troops to Sri Lanka. These reports and such views are also not in keeping with the position of the Government of #India,” the Indian mission said on Twitter.

Image courtesy of (courtesy: Twitter)

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