Sri Lanka cricket stars come out in support of anti-government protests: ‘This is state-backed violence’

Several Sri Lankan cricketing legends have come in combination to criticise the Mahinda Rajapaksa authorities because the toll of political violence rose to 8 amid a crippling financial disaster that has plagued the rustic for months.

Thousands of Sri Lankans have taken to the streets difficult the resignations of president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, who stepped down as high minister this week, over a debt disaster that has ended in a scarcity of gas, meals and different necessities.

Sri Lanka is at the verge of chapter after postponing cost of $7bn of international loans it used to be because of pay this 12 months out of a $25bn due via 2026. Sri Lanka’s overall international debt stands at $51bn.

The protests, that have been in large part non violent, grew to become violent on Monday after pro-government supporters attacked an indication outdoor the high minister’s place of business in capital Colombo. The mob surrounded the protesters, beating them up with metal rods and batons and destroying and surroundings fireplace to the premises.

When the police and armed forces arrived, they reportedly allowed the Rajapaksa supporters to proceed their assaults. The violence unfold around the island country as police spoke back with water cannons and teargas.

Irked anti-government protesters attacked ruling birthday celebration politicians, set fireplace to properties of ministers and different pro-government parliamentarians, in addition to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s space in his constituency Kurunegala, the Rajapaksa’s ancestral house simply outdoor Colombo, and a boutique lodge owned via considered one of his sons.

According to the rustic’s defence ministry, 8 other people, together with a lawmaker and two law enforcement officials, were killed, whilst over 200 other people sustained accidents within the carnage. Over 100 structures and 60 cars had been burned, it mentioned.

Former Lankan cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara referred to as the violence “despicable” and accused the federal government of backing it.

“Peaceful protestors demanding for their basic needs and rights attacked by despicable thugs and goons backed by the thugs and goons in the government. Disgusting. This is state-backed violence. Intentional and planned,” he wrote on Twitter.

Former skipper and the present guide trainer of Sri Lanka nationwide cricket group Mahela Jayawardene shared a video of a girl being attacked in “front of police officers” and tore into the ruling authorities.

In a next tweet, he wrote: “Violence will not achieve the Change we all seeking for and truly amazing discipline everyone showed for the last 30 days. So please let’s not let vested interest take over people power.”

Mr Jayawardene extensively utilized the hashtag “GoGotaGo”, which has been the clarion name for the Rajapaksa dynasty to jointly surrender.

In some other tweet, he mentioned: “History has given us lessons of civil war and distrust among people through race and religion disharmony.. Also how it’s been used as a weapon to fulfil own agendas.. Divided We Fall and United We Stand Strong Always think as Sri Lankan!!”

Wanindu Hasaranga, a member of the nationwide group, wrote on Monday: “Cowardly and Barbaric! Two words that sum up today’s attack on innocent and peaceful Sri Lankan protesters.”

“I am disappointed to even think we have such leadership in our country,” he added.

Veteran cricketer Roshan Mahanama joined the agitation at Galle Face in Colombo this week and recommended protesters to turn “opposition to the government in a peaceful manner”.

“Staying at home while watching the country go into chaos was not an option. As soon as possible, I walked to Galle Face from home last afternoon to stand in solidarity with the fellow protesters and to show my support towards the fight against the corrupt, power hungry leaders of the country…,” he wrote.

Earlier in April, former cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya had joined the protest in Colombo. “It is unfortunate that the people are going through this situation. They cannot survive like this and have started to protest. There is a shortage of gas and no electricity supply for hours,” he mentioned on the time.

Sri Lankan government on Wednesday deployed armoured cars and troops at the streets of the capital, an afternoon after the defence ministry ordered the militia to shoot at any individuals harmful public assets or threatening lives.

Kamal Gunaratne, a best defence ministry reputable, denied allegations of an army takeover. “None of our officers have a desire to take over the government. It has never happened in our country and it is not easy to do it here,” mentioned Mr Gunaratne.

Following Monday’s violence, high minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his circle of relatives fled the reputable place of dwelling as hundreds of protesters attempted to wreck in. The president, then again, remained at his reputable place of dwelling guarded via the army and police.

New Delhi has denied claims that “certain political persons and their families” have fled to India. It has additionally rejected hypothesis that India used to be sending troops into Colombo.

India on Tuesday confident Sri Lanka of its reinforce, pronouncing that New Delhi has prolonged reinforce of $3.5bn to assist it conquer the disaster, but even so sending very important pieces like meals and medication.

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