Sri Lanka issues ‘shoot-on-sight’ as violence simmers

Sri Lankan security forces have been ordered to shoot law-breakers on sight on Tuesday in a bid to quell anti-government protests that turned violent killing at least seven people including a lawmaker.

Troops are ordered to open fire on anyone looting public property or causing “harm to life”.

The violence resulted in the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. But demonstrators want President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the younger brother of Mahinda Rajapksa, to step down and take responsibility for pushing the island to the worst economic crisis in its history.

Tens of thousands of army, navy and air force personnel are deployed to patrol the streets of the Colombo, the Lankan capital.

Mobs of protesters across the country torched houses belonging to the Rajapaksas, various ministers and MPs. It includes a house turned into a controversial museum by the Rajapaksas in the family’s ancestral village in Hambantota in southern Sri Lanka.

According to reports, Rajapaksa was flown out of Colombo to an undisclosed location on Tuesday morning.