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Sri Lanka: Ruling party MP killed amid violent clashes, house of Rajapaksa family set on fire as island descends into chaos

Some media reports have suggested that Athukorala killed himself. However, according to Ceylon Today, both MP and his driver were found dead. The MP allegedly shot himself after he was attacked by the anti-government protesters.

On May 9, Amarakeerthi Athukorala, Sri Lanka’s MP from the ruling party Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), was found dead amidst violent clashes. The incident happened hours after Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from the post. As per reports, Athukorala’s car was blocked by the protestors in Nittambuwa.

He had allegedly opened fire at the protesters and critically injured two people. He tried to escape and take refuge in a nearby building where his dead body was found.

Some media reports have suggested that Athukorala killed himself. However, according to Ceylon Today, both MP and his driver were found dead. The MP allegedly shot himself after he was attacked by the anti-government protesters. His driver is alleged to have hung himself. Those who had sustained gunshot injuries after the MP had opened fire were admitted to Wathupitiywala Base Hospital in Nittambuwa.

Leader of Opposition in Sri Lanka Sajith Premadasa had criticized the Rajapaksha family amid the new clashes. He said the emergency laws would not slow down the momentum of the change in Sri Lanka. He also warned the ruling party of repercussions if the protesters or the media were harmed. In a tweet, he said, “Every single time the Rajapaksa’s take the back alley instead of the high road. Violence, Emergency laws and fake followers will not stop the momentum of change. Expect serious repercussions if any peaceful protestors or media are harmed.”

Clashes in Sri Lanka

Reports suggest that thousands of pro-government protesters were brought in buses and dropped where anti-government protesters were lodged. They allegedly damaged and burned anti-government posters and banners. Many anti-government protesters were reportedly injured, including women, children and the elderly. At least 78 people were reported injured and were admitted to Colombo National Hospital.

A number of houses, including the family home of the Rajapaksas in Hambantota, has been set on fire, reportedly by protestors.

Not just the Rajapaksa family home, but the houses of a number of other ministers, including Sanath Nishantha, MPs, mayors and many politicians have been set on fire by protestors.

Resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksha

Sri Lanka is going through the worst economic crisis. On Monday, Rajapaksa announced that he had officially handed over his resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is his younger brother.

Mahinda Rajapaksa has appealed to the public to exercise restraint and not take to violence. On Friday, a state of emergency was imposed in Sri Lanka, which gave tremendous power to the military to arrest and detain anyone. The Defence Ministry on Sunday alleged that the anti-government protestors were behaving in a threatening manner and disrupting essential services.

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