Sri Lankan army chief denies shoot-on-sight orders at general public
Colombo, May 11: Sri Lankan Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, General Shavendra Silva has denied the reports which claimed that the armed forces are poised to shoot at the general public to quell the unrest in the island nation. The allegations were mounted by Duminda Nagamuwa of the Frontline Socialist Party, as per Daily Mirror Online.
Refuting the allegations, Gen Shavendra Silva stated that the members of the armed forces will not resort to any such disgraceful acts under any circumstances. According to media reports in Sri Lanka, Silva owes his position to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and he might use the army against the people.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defence on Tuesday ordered the Army, the Air Force and the Navy personnel to open fire on anyone looting public property or causing harm to others amidst violent protests in the island nation over the unprecedented economic crisis.
The order came after embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged people to stop "violence and acts of revenge" against fellow citizens and vowed to address the political and economic crisis facing the nation.
The anti-government protests in Sri Lanka triggered by the island nation's unprecedented economic turmoil turned out to be a tsunami that forced Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign as the prime minister of the country on Monday. The crisis is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has meant that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.