On Tuesday, anti-government protesters in Sri Lanka set up a checkpoint on the road leading to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport to prevent Rajapaksa family loyalists from fleeing the country, as violence and widespread protests against the regime over the country’s worst economic crisis in decades continued.
On Monday, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, 76, resigned amid unprecedented economic upheaval, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protestors, prompting authorities to impose a statewide curfew and deploy Army forces in the city.
Pro-Rajapaksa politicians were targeted in the aftermath of the incident. “Large group of people have set up a checkpoint on the road leading to the Katunayake Airport. They are trying to prevent ruling faction loyalists from fleeing the country,” News 1st channel reported.
Katunayake Airport is the local name for Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport. Mahinda and his family abandoned their official mansion, Temple Trees, and sought refuge in a naval base in Trincomalee, a port city on Sri Lanka’s northeast coast.
Protesters set up roadblocks to catch loyalists
Police fired teargas shells throughout the night on Monday to disperse groups attempting to access the Temple Trees house.
As security officers took Mahinda. And his family out of his official residence in the early hours of Tuesday. Lest, police used tear gas and warning bullets to keep mobs at bay.
Following rumors that Mahinda. And some of his family members had arrived to the Trincomalee Naval Base. Since after leaving Temple Trees, a demonstration has commenced in front of the base.
On Monday, demonstrators attacked the Rajapaksa’s ancestral home in Hambantota, as well as the homes of 14 former ministers, 18 parliamentarians, including the former Deputy Speaker, and family loyalists.
According to hospital reports, the number of individuals injured in recent battles has grown to 249, with 7 people deceased.
According to a National Hospital spokesperson. 232 persons were injured in the skirmishes. And have been taken to the hospital for treatment.
Five of the injured are being treated in the Intensive Care Unit right now. Sri Lanka is in the midst of its biggest economic crisis since its 1948 independence from the United Kingdom.
A lack of foreign currency has contributed to the issue. Since the country has been unable to pay for imports of basic goods and gasoline. Moreover, resulting in severe shortages and exorbitant costs.
Since April 9, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets across Sri Lanka, demanding President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahinda’s resignations because the government has run out of money to pay for basic imports, and there are severe shortages of fuel, medicines, and electricity.