Sri Lankan Army Evacuates Former PM from Besieged Residence

The Sri Lankan army evacuated former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family to safety after anti-government protesters attempted to storm his official Temple Trees residence in Colombo.

“After a pre-dawn operation, the former Prime Minister and his family were evacuated to safety by the army. At least 10 petrol bombs were thrown into the compound,” a top security official said

The security official added that police used a barrage of tear gas and fired warning shots in the air to keep protesters from breaching all three entrances to the colonial-era building.  

Rajapaksa’s evacuation followed a day of deadly protests where five people, including a member of parliament, died and almost 200 were wounded.  

Rajapaksa, 76, whose younger brother is the current President of the country, dominated Sri Lankan politics for 20 years. 

Meanwhile, police said that the controversial Rajapaksa Museum in the family’s ancestral village in Southern Sri Lanka was razed to the ground, including the two wax statues of the Rajapaksa parents. 

The Rajapaksa’s power has been threatened by the deepening economic crisis with months of blackouts and shortages. 

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