Colombo: A lawyer has moved a Sri Lankan court seeking direction to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to immediately arrest seven persons, including former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa while alleging conspiracy to commit criminal intimidation and abetting attack on a peaceful protest in front of the Temple Trees and Galle Face earlier this week.

According to Daily Mirror, a personal complaint has been lodged before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court by a lawyer requesting to direct the CID for the arrests.

More than 100 protestors were injured at the Galle Face protest site during violent clashes resulting in a nationwide curfew with the country’s tri forces ordered to shoot at sight all those who plunder public property or cause personal harm last Tuesday. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who recently tendered his resignation from the position of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, has been barred from leaving the country by a local court.

The travel ban has also been imposed on Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son and former Minister Namal Rajapaksa, Johnston Fernando, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, C B Rathnayake, Sanath Nishantha, and Sanjeewa Edirimanne, among others, News Wire reported citing sources. Mahinda Rajapaksa and some of his family members were shifted to Trincomalee Naval Base, a day after he resigned following violent protests that led to a nationwide curfew. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices and power cuts affecting a large number of the citizens, resulting in massive protests over the government’s handling of the situation.

The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a fall in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as reckless economic policies, like the government’s move last year to ban chemical fertilizers in a bid to make Sri Lanka’s agriculture “100 per cent organic”. Amid the political and economic crisis, the leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa who had earlier demanded the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa before assuming Prime Ministership, has written an open letter to the President that he is ready to assume the office of Prime Minister of Sri Lanka if Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigns within a stipulated time after Premadasa assuming office.—ANI

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