Sri Lanka court bans ex-PM Rajapaksa, allies from leaving country

A Sri Lankan court has banned former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, his politician son Namal and 15 allies from leaving the country over violence against anti-government demonstrators.

The magistrate in the main city of Colombo on Thursday ordered police to investigate Monday’s mob attacks on peaceful protesters, which led to retaliations. Nine people died in the violence and cities saw widespread destruction.

A petition to the court had also requested an arrest warrant for Rajapaksa and his associates, a court official told AFP news agency.

“But the magistrate turned it down because police anyway have powers to detain any suspect,” the official added.

Victims of Monday’s violence say Rajapaksa and key aides had bussed about 3,000 of their supporters into the capital and instigated them to attack peaceful protesters.

The loyalist mob poured out of his residence and assaulted anti-government demonstrators with sticks and clubs.

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