Mumbai: A Sri Lankan court on Thursday banned former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, his politician son Namal and several allies from leaving the country over acts of violence against anti-government demonstrators.
A magistrate in the capital Colombo on Monday ordered police to investigate mob attacks on peaceful protesters that led to retaliatory violence that claimed nine lives and caused widespread destruction.
A court official told AFP that a petition in the court also sought an arrest warrant against Rajapaksa and his associates.
“But the magistrate turned it down as the police have the right to take any suspect into custody,” the officer said.
Victims of Monday’s violence say Rajapaksa and his key aides persuaded some 3,000 of his supporters to enter the capital to attack peaceful protesters.
Loyalist mobs came out of his residence and attacked anti-government protesters with sticks and clubs.
Buddhist monks and Catholic priests were among at least 225 people hospitalized after the attack.
Rajapaksa’s loyalists set fire to dozens of homes, which soon sparked retaliation across the country.
The premier resigned and was evicted from his home by heavily armed soldiers.
The 76-year-old former leader is currently hiding at a naval facility in the east of the island nation.
His former minister son Namal told AFP on Tuesday that the family had no intention of leaving the country.