Indian High Commission in Colombo has dismissed media and social media reports on certain Sri Lankan politicians and their families fleeing to India. The High Commission said in a recent tweet these reports are “fake and blatantly false” and as being “devoid of any truth or substance.”
The High Commission tweeted, “High Commission has recently noticed rumours circulating in sections of media and social media that certain political persons and their families have fled to India. These are fake and blatantly false reports, devoid of any truth or substance. High Commission strongly denies them.”
The development comes on the back of Sri Lankan armed forces being ordered to shoot at any person damaging public property or threatening public property, Defence Ministry spokesperson Nalin Herath was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters. The military can detain people for up to 24 hours before handing them to police whereas private property including private vehicles can be searched by force.
Protests turned violent on Monday after pro-Rajapaksa supporters clashed with anti-government demonstrators, leaving 5 people dead and at least 225 wounded. Rajapaksas’ ancestral home in Hambantota was gutted down by protestors whereas a mob also set ex-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s house in Kurunegela on fire.
A group of protestors also destroyed D A Rajapaksa memorial, constructed in the memory of the father of Mahinda and Gotabaya. Parliamentarians were also targeted as houses of MPs Tissa Kuttiarachch and Santha Nishantha were set on fire.
Sri Lanka Podujana Perumana (SLPP) MP from Polonnaruwa district Amarakeerthi Athukorala was surrounded by protestors at the north western town of Nittambuwa. Gunfire began from his SUV, as per eyewitnesses. When mobs topped his car, Athukorala fled and took refuge in a building and committed suicide using his own revolver. Months of shutdowns and blackouts have led to shortages of food, fuel and medicine among other essential supplies.
(With agency inputs)
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