Status: 05/11/2022 1:25 pm
Buildings killed, injured and destroyed: In the wake of the riots in Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Defense ordered security forces to shoot people who damage other people’s property or endanger lives.
After the deadly riots in Sri Lanka, the authorities gave the order to fire to quell further disturbances. The Defense Ministry said security forces were instructed to shoot anyone who looted public property or endangered human life. In addition, the government sent armored vehicles and soldiers to the capital, Colombo. Armored trucks drove through the streets, soldiers set up checkpoints. The military was also deployed in other parts of the country.
Earlier, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa called for an end to violence and acts of revenge against other citizens on Twitter. He wrote that every effort would be made to restore political stability through consensus, so that the economic crisis could also be overcome in this way. This crisis has led to the ongoing protests.
The curfew already applies
A curfew had already been imposed on Monday, but people in many places resisted. In two places, police fired into the air to disperse groups of people trying to set fire to vehicles. Earlier, an angry mob attacked and set fire to a vehicle in which the capital’s senior police officer, Colombo, was sitting. A luxury hotel believed to belong to a relative of outgoing Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaska was also set on fire on Tuesday. According to authorities, a total of 104 buildings and 60 vehicles were set on fire.
So far, at least eight dead, hundreds injured
Protests that had been raging for weeks in Sri Lanka, rocked by a severe economic crisis, escalated violently on Monday. Rajapaksa supporters who drove to Colombo on buses attacked anti-government protesters with sticks and sticks, and police used tear gas and water cannons. Police initially imposed a curfew in Colombo, which was later extended to the entire country. At least eight people died and hundreds were injured in the protests. According to the Defense Ministry, a lawmaker from the ruling party and two police officers are among the eight killed.
The EU condemned violence against civilians and called for calm. Brussels urged Sri Lankan authorities to “launch an investigation into the events and hold accountable those who instigated or perpetrated the violence”.
In response to the serious disturbances, Rajapaksa and his entire cabinet resigned on Monday. On the other hand, the brother of the former prime minister, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, remains in office. He has far-reaching powers.
The largest opposition party has called for the president’s resignation in view of the ongoing unrest. Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa of the United Peoples Party declared in Colombo that he was prepared to take over as prime minister in an interim government. However, his party imposed the condition that, following the resignation of the previous head of government, the president also resigns from office.
Worst economic crisis in years
Sri Lanka is experiencing the worst economic crisis in decades. In the state with about 22 million inhabitants there is a shortage of fuel, food and medicine. The highly indebted country has no money to import. The Sri Lankan government is not paying off its high debts for the time being and wants to restructure them. The country is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and expects more financial help from China and India.
Sri Lanka: Security forces have orders to shoot
Peter Hornung, ARD New Delhi, 11 May 2022 9:23 am