Violence escalates in Sri Lanka political crisis as first shots fired

ECONOMYNEXT – Violence escalated in Sri Lanka’s political crisis with guards of Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga opening fire on a crowd that had besieged him as entered office late Sunday.

Two people were admitted to hospital after the incident, police said. .

On Saturday, state television was briefly shut down as group of people led by a parliamentarian loyal to newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stormed a building.

The latest incident came as speaker Karu Jayasuriya asked priviledges due to Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister be maintained amid threats to his security, until parliament meets again.

President Sirisena is due to appoint a new cabinet Monday, reports said.

His loyalists argue that the cabinet stands dissolved after President Maithripala Sirisena’s party pulled out of the ruling coalition Friday.

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