You are here: Home » International » News » Politics
Saudi flight believed to be carrying Gotabaya Rajapaksa lands in Singapore
Japan PM Kishida blames police for death of former leader Shinzo Abe
Business Standard

Lankan army asks protestors to desist from violence or face consequences

The Sri Lankan Army on Thursday urged the anti-government protesters to desist from violence immediately or be prepared to face the "consequences"

Topics
sri lanka | rajapaksa | protests

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 



Protestors throw back teargas shells as they rally outside prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's office, demanding he resign after president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled amid economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Photo: AP/PTI)
Protestors throw back teargas shells as they rally outside prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's office, demanding he resign after president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled amid economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Photo: AP/PTI)

The Sri Lankan Army on Thursday urged the anti-government protesters to desist from violence immediately or be prepared to face the "consequences", warning that the security forces are "legitimately empowered" to exercise force.

At least 84 people were hospitalised when protesters clashed with the security forces at the prime minister's office and at the main access junction to Parliament on Wednesday after President Gotabaya fled the country. The police fired tear gas and water cannons at the mob who were trying to break barriers and enter the restricted zone.

Authorities on Wednesday imposed a curfew in the Western Province following the eruption of violence. The curfew was lifted in the morning. But it had to be reimposed amid fears of violence as there was no word from President on his resignation.

Anticipating more after a group attempted to storm Parliament's entrance a day earlier, troops in green military uniforms and camouflage vests reinforced security at the Parliament on Thursday.

The Army in a statement urged the protestors to "desist from all forms of violence immediately or be prepared to face consequences as members of the Armed Forces are legitimately empowered to exercise their force, if the situation deems necessary as security to the public property, key installations, vulnerable points and human lives, does fall within the purview of their responsibility."

It said that all heads of the armed forces and the police during meetings with the acting President and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker of the Parliament and political party leaders unanimously maintained that peaceful should not in anyway be dealt with full force, but with the minimum force as long as those protesters do not resort to violence or damage the public property.

The Army said "irrespective of those assurances a certain section of the protesters, purposefully deviating from its proclaimed non-violent approach continued to breach law and order and resorted to violence by trying to place the Parliament complex as well as the Speaker's official residence under siege."

It said that despite repeated appeals of Army personnel, the "unruly protesting mobs" on Wednesday tried to forcibly enter Parliament complex aggressively went on harassing and attacking the troops on duty using clubs, iron rods, stones, helmets, etc and snatched TWO T-56 weapons with ammunition rounds and caused injuries to a dozen of Army personnel.

It said the army troops on Wednesday used minimum force and brought the situation under control.

Wednesday's were more directed at Wickremesinghe. Calls for his resignation intensified after he was appointed the acting president. Political party leaders are asking him to step down so that Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena can take control as acting president. Wickremesinghe in a statement asked the Speaker to find a suitable nominee to become the prime minister in an all-party interim government. However, the protesters have demanded that the interim government must only consist of politicians acceptable to them.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Subscribe to Business Standard Premium

Exclusive Stories, Curated Newsletters, 26 years of Archives, E-paper, and more!

Insightful news, sharp views, newsletters, e-paper, and more! Unlock incisive commentary only on Business Standard.

Download the Business Standard App for latest Business News and Market News .

First Published: Thu, July 14 2022. 17:40 IST

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

.