Protests were held yesterday (10) in front of the Trincomalee Naval Base, where former Prime Minister and incumbent Government MP Mahinda Rajapaksa is reportedly staying, along with a number of his family members.
Video reports also show a helicopter, reportedly belonging to the Sri Lanka Air Force, being boarded by a few people at the Police Field Headquarters. Reports claim that it was boarded by Rajapaksa’s third son, Rohitha Rajapaksa, and the latter’s wife and children. Claims also state that other family members, including Chamal Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa, are also at the Trincomalee Navy Base.
“Give our money back. Do not protect thieves. They are all murderers,” the protestors chanted in front of the Naval Base, yesterday.
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son, Government MP Namal Rajapaksa, however, told AFP yesterday that Mahinda Rajapaksa will not flee the country.
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second son and former Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Yoshitha Rajapaksa and his wife had reportedly left the country early on Monday morning. Some reports claim that they had landed in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday.
Meanwhile, protests continued into the early hours of the morning in front of Rajapaksa’s former residence, the Temple Trees yesterday, from Monday (9). Video reports show a back gate of Temple Trees being rammed in by protestors and set on fire, with Police firing into the air to disperse them. Protestors were dispersed early yesterday morning, following which Rajapaksa had reportedly left the Temple Trees.
Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from the Premiership on Monday, but calls for his arrest have started, with Tamil National Alliance Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran PC stating that Rajapaksa should be held accountable for inciting violence.
On Monday, supporters of then-Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa gathered at the Temple Trees, where they engaged in chants, asking him not to resign. They were addressed by Rajapaksa, inside Temple Trees. Following this, the crowd assaulted the protestors outside the Temple Trees, at “MynaGoGama”, where they were engaged in a days-long struggle, demanding his resignation. The crowd then moved towards “GotaGoGama”, where they assaulted anti-Government protestors, setting fire to many structures near the Galle Face Green that belonged to the protestors.
In retaliation, the homes of several MPs have been burnt around the island, including Medamulana, which the Rajapaksa family has named as their ancestral home in Hambantota.