Former Sri Lankan PM stopped from leaving country amid deteriorating economic crisis
Colombo: Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, his politician son Namal and 15 allies have been banned from leaving the country in connection with an investigation into acts of violence against anti-government demonstrators, a Sri Lankan court has ruled, media reports said.
The court also directed police to probe Monday's mob attacks on peaceful protesters which led to retaliatory violence in which nine people died and widespread destruction was caused.
Meanwhile, the army has been deployed to patrol the streets and security forces have been ordered to shoot the looters on site.
Last night, Rajapaksa pledged to give up most of his executive powers and set up a new cabinet this week. However, protesters have vowed to stop at nothing less than Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation from the post of president.
They have vowed to keep up the protests until the president also quits.
Protesters have sprayed graffiti over Mahinda Rajapaksa's home and ransacked a museum dedicated to his father.
Following the protests, he took refuge in Trincomalee naval base.
Former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe is the frontrunner to head a “unity government” with cross-party support in the 225-member parliament and replace Mahinda Rajapaksa, who stepped down on Monday.
The main opposition SJB party was initially invited to lead a new government, but its leader Sajith Premadasa insisted that the president first step down, then about a dozen MPs from the SJB pledged support to Wickremesinghe, 73, who has been prime minister for five times since 1993 and is seen as a pro-West free-market reformist.
As the prime minister quit and went into hiding, leaders of opposition leaders of political parties are due to meet.
After this, many people boarded buses in the main city Colombo on Thursday to return to their hometowns.