Overseas travel ban lifted on Lanka's ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa

A Sri Lankan court here on Wednesday ordered the lifting of the overseas travel ban on former president and prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

Press Trust of India Colombo
Sri lanka central bank

Photo: Bloomberg

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A Sri Lankan court here on Wednesday ordered the lifting of the overseas travel ban on former president and prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Fort Magistrate's Court imposed a ban on overseas travel on Rajapaksa, 77, and over a dozen other politicians in May last year in view of investigations against them for their alleged involvement in the deadly attack on peaceful anti-government protesters in Colombo.

At least nine people were killed and over 300 others injured in the violence in May.

The overseas travel ban on former president Rajapaksa, MP Rohitha

Abeygunawardena, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, and ex-Provincial Council member Kanchana Jayaratne was completely lifted by the Fort Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, website reported.

Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage ordered the court registrar to immediately convey the order to the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration. The impounded passports were ordered to be released to the four politicians, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported.

A number of MPs' homes and offices were torched by enraged mobs in Sri Lanka last year in a wave of spontaneous violence triggered after then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's supporters attacked anti-government protesters amidst the unprecedented economic crisis in the island nation.

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The protesters demanded the resignation of Rajapaksa's younger brother the then president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned a few hours later and a curfew was imposed across the country.

Rajapaksa, known for his brutal military campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during his presidency from 2005 to 2015, saw his private residence set on fire.

He, along with his wife and family, had fled his official residence Temple Trees and took shelter at the naval base in Trincomalee after a series of deadly attacks on his supporters.

The economic and political turmoil also led to the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the 73-year-old younger brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa in July.

The powerful Rajapaksa clan, led by patriarch Mahinda, dominated Sri Lanka's political scene for decades till they were forced to quit their posts last year.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: May 17 2023 | 8:35 PM IST

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