Sri Lankan troops instructed to “shoot-on-sight” to control violence

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SRI-LANKA, May 11: Sri Lankan forces have been ordered to “shoot-on-sight” in order to control the violence amid a series of attacks against government officials.

Military troops in armoured personnel patrolled the streets of Colombo, as the Sri Lankan government extended a nationwide curfew by a day.

“Security forces have been ordered to shoot on sight anyone looting public property or causing harm to life,” the army said.

Army carrying guns guarded at multiple checkpoints in the capital, following, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa decided to pass emergency powers to the military allowing forces to detain people without warrants.

Meanwhile, violent clashes killed eight people and injured more than 200 this week, while the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president’s elder brother, failed to douse public anger.

“All protests were peaceful protests, there was no violence in those protests, there was no rioting. The protests were aimed at specific demands of the people.

“When (former prime minister) Mahinda Rajapaksa launched a planned attack on these peaceful protests, he should have known there would be a reaction to that,” expressed Tilvin Silva, general-secretary of the people’s liberation front.

Sri Lanka has a population of 22 million people and it has been suffering its worst economic crisis in history, with a severe shortage of foreign exchange stalling essential imports, including drugs and fuel. – TVS

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