Sri Lanka has been rocked by violent protests against the ruling Rajapaksa family amid worsening economic crisis. At least 200 people have been injured whereas 8 people have lost their lives due to the violence in central Colombo. Violence erupted in the capital city of Sri Lanka on Monday after ex-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s supporters attacked anti-government protestors who sought his ouster over the worst economic since 1948. Months of shutdowns and blackouts have resulted in massive shortages of food, fuel, medicines and other essential supplies.
Meanwhile, India has extended support worth over $3.5 billion to help Sri Lanka tide over current challenges apart from providing assistance for mitigating shortages of essential items like food, medicine among others.
Top developments in Sri Lanka so far
1. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that India is "fully supportive of its democracy, stability and economic recovery."
2. Sri Lanka has given emergency powers to its military and police apparatus to detain people without warrants after a day of clashes.
3. Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam advised Inspector General of Police (IGP) to conduct a full-fledged investigation into instances of interference into people’s constitutional rights, circumstances that led to such incidents and consequent commission of penal offences, news agency PTI reported.
4. The A-G said in a letter to the IGP that incident in Colombo triggered sporadic acts of violence of serious nature involving people and their property all over the country. He also advised police chief to investigate the aftermath of the incidents.
5. Earlier in the day, Rajapaksas’ ancestral home in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota was set on fire by anti-government protestors. Video footage showed entire house of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Medamulana in Hambantota city was burning as protestors hooted away.
6. Mahinda’s house in Kurunegela was also set on fire by protestors whereas a mob also destroyed D A Rajapaksa memorial, which was constructed in the memory of the father of Mahinda and Gotabaya. House of parliamentarians Tissa Kuttiarachch and Santha Nishantha were also set on fire.
7. Amarakeerthi Athukorala, a Sri Lanka Podujana Perumana (SLPP) MP from the Polonnaruwa district, was surrounded by anti-government groups at the north western town of Nittambuwa. According to eyewitnesses, gunfire came from his SUV. When the mobs topped his car, he fled and took refuge in a building and committed suicide using his own revolver.
8. After reports of protestors being attacked in Sri Lanka, World Bank has expressed deep concerns on the worsening situation. World Bank Country Director for the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka Faris H Hadad-Zervos tweeted, “We are deeply concerned with the perpetration of violence in Sri Lanka.” He added, “Those responsible are only standing in the way of the country’s immediate economic recovery and making the task even more difficult for development partners.”
9. The ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka has also led to massive currency devaluation and has resulted in recognition of exceptional item of Rs 48.50 crore towards exchange loss arising on foreign currency obligations of Causeway Paints in the consolidated financial results for the quarter and year ended March 31.
10. Colombo Stock Exchange declared Tuesday as a market holiday due to settlement difficulties exacerbated by the ongoing economic crisis. A CSE circular read, “The Colombo stock Exchange (CSE) has been informed that the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka will not be operated today (10th May 2022).”
11. Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on Monday amid economic turmoil in the country.
12. Rajapaksa said in his resignation letter, “Multiple stakeholders have indicated the best solution to the present crisis is the formation of an interim all-party government.” It further said, “Therefore, I have tendered my resignation so the next steps can be taken in accordance with the Constitution.”
(With agency inputs)
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