Sri Lanka: Travel ban on Mahinda Rajapaksa, President to appoint new PM

Violent clashes in Sri Lanka as violence escalates in the country. Many deaths have been reported in the unprecedented violence that erupted after supporters of former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attacked anti-government protesters demanding his ouster. [Photo: Twitter/kartikvisva]

A travel ban has been issued by Sri Lanka court on erstwhile Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, his son Namal Rajapaksa and 15 others, reports said on Thursday.

Mahinda is currently under protection at the Trincomalee naval base. The Fort Magistrate’s Court barred them from travelling overseas due to the investigations taking place on the attacks on the GotaGoGama and MynaGoGama peaceful protest sites on Monday, Reuters quoted media reports as saying.

Former PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has just one seat in the 225-member Parliament, could become the next premier, news agency PTI said quoting media reports.

United National Party (UNP) leader held talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday and is expected to meet him again on Thursday, the Colombo Page newspaper reported.

Members of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), a section of the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and several other parties have expressed their support to show a majority for Wickremesinghe in Parliament, the report said quoting the sources.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has announced that he will appoint a new PM and Cabinet this week. He has also stated that steps will be taken to amend the Constitution to empower Parliament.

“Calls from various factions for the abolition of the executive presidency will be considered,” the President added.

Earlier on Wednesday, the country’s Defence Secretary Kamal Guneratne said Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was evacuated from his Temple Trees official residence, is being protected at the Trincomalee naval base. The witnessed previously witnessed unprecedented mob violence after the former strongman resigned.


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