Sri Lanka crisis: How Mahinda Rajapaksa was evacuated by army from 'Temple Tree'
Colombo, May 10: The death toll rose to eight on Tuesday in the unprecedented violence in Sri Lanka that erupted after supporters of former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attacked peaceful anti-government protesters demanding his ouster over the country's worst economic crisis that led to acute shortages of staple food, fuel and power.
Over 200 people have also been injured in the violence in Colombo and other cities. Mahinda Rajapaksa, 76, resigned as Sri Lankan Prime Minister on Monday amid unprecedented economic turmoil, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters, prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy Army troops in the capital.
The violence saw arson attacks on the homes of several politicians, including the ancestral home of the Rajapaksas in Hambantota. Video footage showed the entire house of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Medamulana in Hambantota city was burning.
Prime Minister Mahinda's House in Kurunegala was also set on fire by protesters while a mob also destroyed D A Rajapaksa Memorial - constructed in the memory of the father of Mahinda and Gotabaya - in Medamulana, Hambantota.
Following his resignation, anti-government protesters surrounded his house 'Temple Tree' and called for his arrest.
How Mahinda Rajapaksa was evacuated by army
Heavily armed troops evacuated outgoing Sri Lankan prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa from his official residence in Colombo on Tuesday after thousands of protesters breached the main gate.
Protesters who forced their way into the capital's "Temple Trees" residence then attempted to storm the main two-storey building where Rajapaksa was holed up with his immediate family."
The security officials, speaking to AFP, said the police fired warning shots and kept up a barrage of tear gas to control the mob as the army completed its evacuation operation.
After a pre-dawn operation, the former PM and his family were evacuated to safety by the army," a top security official told AFP.
Where is Mahinda Rajapaksa now?
The former PM has been moved to an undisclosed location, officials told AFP.
Why are protesters angry with Mahinda Rajapaksa?
Not just Mahinda Rajapaksa, the protesters are also angry with his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and have blamed the siblings for the worst economic crisis Sri Lanka is facing.