Sri Lanka crisis: One dead, two injured in clashes as Mahinda Rajapaksa's supporters try to take minister hostage

Colombo: The political crises in Sri Lanka took an ugly turn on Sunday when bodyguards of Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, a loyalist of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, fired live rounds at the supporters of the new premier Mahinda Rajapaksa, leaving one person dead.

"One person succumbed to his injuries and two others were hospitalised in the shooting incident and a security personnel was arrested at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) premises in Dematagoda following a tense situation on Sunday," police said.

Sri Lankan security forces are deployed near the petroleum ministry building in Colombo. AP

Sri Lankan security forces are deployed near the petroleum ministry building in Colombo. AP

The incident took place when the cricketer-turned-politician visited the CPC office, with several Ceylon Petroleum Corporation workers objecting to his presence at the office.

When Ranatunga entered the building the supporters of the new prime minister Rajapaksa took exception to him visiting the office and shouted slogans.

When they were not allowed to move out, shots were fired which injured three persons. Unconfirmed reports said that two of Ranatunga's security personnel have been arrested.

Ranatunga is a supporter of Wickremesinghe who was sacked by President Maithripala Sirisena. Wickremesinghe holds his sacking was illegal and unconstitutional.

Sri Lanka is facing a political crisis after Sirisena sacked prime minister Wickremesinghe on Friday, and appointed former strongman Rajapaksa as the new prime minister.

A new caretaker government is expected to be sworn in on Monday.

Sirisena also suspended parliament till 16 November after Wickremesinghe sought an emergency session to prove his majority. His office also announced that with Wickremesinghe's sacking the Cabinet stands dissolved.


Updated Date: Oct 28, 2018 19:52 PM

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