A Sri Lankan court on Thursday (May 12) banned ex-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, his son Namal and fifteen of his allies from traveling abroad because of acts of violence committed against anti-government protesters.

A Colombo magistrate has also launched a police investigation into Monday’s attacks on peaceful anti-government protesters, which escalated into violent reprisals that left nine people dead and widespread damage.

A complaint to the court requested an arrest warrant against Mahinda Rajapaksa and his associates, a court official said. “But the magistrate rejected it because the police have the power to detain any suspect anyway,” the official added.

225 people hospitalized

Buddhist monks and Catholic priests were among the 225 people hospitalized after the attack. Victims of Monday’s violence said Mr Rajapaksa and his top aides encouraged some 3,000 of their supporters, bussed from the province to the economic capital Colombo, to attack peaceful protesters.

The next day, the resigning prime minister, aged 76, was exfiltrated by the army from his besieged official residence, then taken to a naval base in Trincomalee, in the northeast of the country, where he was still on Wednesday. His son Namal, a former minister, said on Tuesday that the family had no intention of leaving the country.

The island’s population is overwhelmed by months of severe shortages of food, fuel, medicine and power cuts. Peaceful protests have been calling for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for weeks.



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