Colombo: At least one person has been killed and two others have been injured in Sri Lanka’s Colombo on Sunday when a security guard of parliamentarian Arjuna Ranatunga, former petroleum minister under ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s sacked cabinet, opened fire, as per reports by Reuters. Also Read - Sri Lanka's First COVID-19 Patient Recovers, Discharged From Hospital
Police said shots were fired in Colombo at a mob which is loyal to President Maithripala Sirisena after the group tried to take the cabinet member hostage. Earlier today, Sri Lankan speaker of parliament Karu Jayasuriya recognised Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s prime minister three days after he was sacked by President Maithripala Sirisena. Also Read - COVID-19: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Urges Citizens to Halt Travel, Gatherings
Jayasuriya said in a letter addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena, who dismissed Wickremesinghe on Friday, “I consider the said request to be a democratic and fair request.” He also warned President Sirisena that shutting parliament for nearly three weeks would increase the political crisis gripping the country. Also Read - Sri Lanka Suspends All Incoming International Flights Amid Coronavirus Fears
It was the first report of serious violence since Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe on Friday and installed former strongman Mahinda Rajapakse as the new prime minister, triggering political chaos.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn-in as the Sri Lankan Prime Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday after much political drama. President Sirisena sacked premier Ranil Wickremesinghe who termed the move as “unconstitutional” and vowed to prove his majority in Parliament.
The sudden development came amid growing tensions between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe on several policy matters and the President has been critical of the Prime Minister and his policies, especially on economy and security.
Meanwhile, in the wake of political turmoil in the country, the United States has asked Sri Lankan political parties to ‘act in accordance with their constitution’ and ‘refrain from violence’.
“The US is following events in Sri Lanka. We call on all parties to act in accordance with SL’s constitution, refrain from violence, and follow due process,” the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs tweeted.
“We expect the government of Sri Lanka to uphold its Geneva commitments to human rights, reform, accountability, justice, and reconciliation,” it added.