Sri Lankan protesters burn down politicians’ homes as the country plunges further into chaos

Island nation police said on Tuesday, in addition to the destroyed homes, 75 were damaged as angry Sri Lankans continue to defy a nationwide curfew to protest what they say is the government’s mismanagement of the worst economic crisis in the country. country since 1948.

Defense ministry ordered troops to fire on anyone found damaged state property or assaulted officials on Tuesday, after the violence left at least eight people dead since Monday, though it is unclear whether all the deaths were directly related. to the protests. More than 200 people were injured in the violence.

The nation of 22 million is facing a devastating economic crisis, with skyrocketing consumer goods prices and widespread electricity shortages for weeks. Since March, thousands of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets, demanding the government to resign.

the military had to save Outgoing Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in a pre-dawn operation on Tuesday, hours after his resignation following clashes between pro and anti-government protesters. The military was called after protesters twice attempted to breach the prime minister’s private residence “Temple Trees” overnight, a senior security source told CNN.

His resignation came after live television footage on Monday showed government supporters, armed with sticks, beating protesters in several locations in the capital and demolishing and burning their tents. Dozens of homes have been set on fire across the country amidst the violence, according to witnesses CNN spoke to.

Armed troops were deployed to disperse the protesters, according to the CNN team on the ground, as video footage showed police firing tear gas and water cannons.

A national curfew was imposed until Thursday.

However, it is unclear whether the curfew and the resignation of the prime minister will be sufficient to curb the increasingly unstable situation in the country.

Many protesters say their ultimate goal is to force President Gotabaya Rajapaksa – the prime minister’s brother – to step down, something he has so far shown no sign of doing.

The president on Tuesday urged citizens to “remain calm and stop the violence and acts of revenge against citizens, except for political affiliations”.

“All efforts will be made to restore political stability through consensus, within the constitutional mandate and to resolve the economic crisis,” tweeted the president.

In a statement Tuesday, the European Union and its 27 member states condemned the “recent ferocious attack on peaceful protesters” and called on the authorities to investigate.

Anti-government protesters protest near the president's office in Colombo on 10 May.

“The EU deplores the loss of life, including of a member of parliament, and the high number of injuries,” the statement read. “The EU recalls the importance of safeguarding the democratic rights of all citizens and of focusing on solutions that will address the significant challenges currently faced by Sri Lankans.”

Sri Lankan neighbor India has also taken over.

“As a close neighbor of Sri Lanka with historical ties, India fully supports its democracy, stability and economic recovery,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

“In line with our neighborhood policy, India has extended support worth over $ 3.5 billion to the people of Sri Lanka this year alone to help them overcome their current difficulties. India will be always guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes ”.