Colombo: Amid the anti-government protests across the island nation, a government MP was found dead with gunshot injuries after he fled the spot when his vehicle was blocked by the protesters on whom he allegedly opened fire.
Unconfirmed reports claimed that the MP — Amarakeerthi Athukorala — took his own life while hiding in a building in Nittambuwa town, around 40 km from Colombo.
A CCTV footage, which captured the MP running along the pavement with his bodyguard armed with a pistol, went viral on social media. One of the two protesters, who were allegedly shot at by the MP, is in a critical condition.
Violence erupted across the country on Monday afternoon as goons supporting resigned Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attacked the peaceful protesters who had occupied two locations, namely entrances to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office and Mahinda’s residence in Colombo.
The goons armed with clubs attacked the anti-government protesters who have been protesting there for weeks now, and torched their tents.
To control the situation, an island-wide curfew was imposed, but defying the curfew people took to the streets and protested against the government. Several houses of government MPs and local politicians were reportedly burnt. Military has been summoned to control the situation.
With violence spreading in the country, Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over his resignation to his younger brother, Gotabaya.
Going through an unprecedented economic crisis, the island nation has seen months long protests mainly due to lack of food, fuel, medicine, cooking gas and several hours long power cuts.
From last Friday, residents in Colombo and its suburbs have been blocking the roads in protest against the non-availability of cooking gas and fuel.
Anti-government protesters have been demanding the President, the Prime Minister and the entire Cabinet to resign, but Gotabaya Rajapaksa had opted to remove his government and run the country with an all-party Cabinet.