The crisis in Sri Lanka deepened on Tuesday with the country’s defence ministry issuing shoot-on-sight orders to troops a day after mobs torched the ancestral home of the Rajapaksas in Hambantota and vandalised homes of former ministers. The ministry said that the security forces have been “ordered to shoot on sight anyone looting public property or causing harm to life”.

In the violence that ensued on Monday, eight people, including two policemen, were killed and 65 homes damaged, while 41 homes were torched.

The island nation is under a curfew amid widespread public anger over the worst economic crisis that has gripped the country. The resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday as the prime minister has failed to quell the protests.

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A look at the key updates:

Mahinda Rajapaksa and family holed up in naval base: Former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa took shelter at Trincomalee Naval Base in Sri Lanka on Tuesday fearing a threat to his life. Reports stated that protesters after receiving reports that the senior Rajapaksa is holed up there have gathered in front of the naval base.

President urges to maintain calm: Embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday tweeted to maintain calm in his first comments since the violence on Monday in which the mobs targetted homes of ruling-party politicians. “I appeal and urge people to remain calm & stop violence & acts of revenge against citizens, irrespective of political affiliations. All efforts will be made to restore political stability through consensus, within constitutional mandate & to resolve the economic crisis,” he wrote.

‘Won’t flee country’: Former PM Mahinda’s son Namal on Tuesday said the family won’t flee the country, AFP reported. Namal, once touted as a future national leader, said the Rajapaksa family had no plans to leave Sri Lanka despite weeks of protests demanding they relinquish power.

Top cop assaulted: On Tuesday afternoon, a top police officer in Colombo was assaulted and his vehicle set ablaze by protesters accusing of failing to prevent an attack against peaceful protesters on Monday.

President urged to convene House: Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker on Tuesday requested President Gotabaya to reconvene the House this week to discuss the current situation. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeyawardene said he had telephoned the President with his request. Parliamentary officials said the President will be required to reconvene Parliament ahead of its scheduled date of May 17 as there is no prime minister and a government currently.

PM’s resignation: Former PM Mahinda resigned as prime minister on Monday, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters, prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy Army troops in the capital.

Monday’s bout of violence: On Monday, protesters attacked the ancestral home of the Rajapaksas in Hambantota, the houses of 14 former ministers, 18 lawmakers, including former Deputy Speaker, and leaders loyal to the Rajapaksa family. Video footage showed the ancestral house of the Rajapaksa family in Medamulana in Hambantota city was burning.

Houses torched: 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.

Protesters shot at: Eye-witnesses said that the people who had come with the Member of Parliament to Nittambuwa shot at a group of people protesting against the attack on the peaceful protesters in front of the Temple Trees and the President’s Office. A 27-year-old male died in the shooting incident. Two people were killed in a shooting that took place at the Weeraketiya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman’s residence on Monday night.

Island nation under emergency: Sri Lanka is under a state of emergency since Friday giving sweeping powers to the military to arrest and detain suspects. This is the second time that an emergency was declared in Sri Lanka in just over a month.

(With agency inputs)

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