Armed forces ordered to open fire on those looting or causing physical harm

Armed forces ordered to open fire on those looting or causing physical harm

May 10, 2022   07:22 pm

The armed forces have been ordered to open fire on any person involved in looting public property or causing physical harm to others, the Ministry of Defence says.

In a video statement, Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne urged the general public to refrain from such conduct.

He urged the country’s youth to continue their struggle in a peaceful manner without causing any harm to any individuals and without damaging to setting fire to any properties, be it public or private. 

The Defence Secretary said that a large number of incidents regarding violent behavior, causing disturbances, taking the law into one’s own hands, assaulting police officers and destroying public and private property have been reported in the country. 

He also gave an update on the casualties and property damages reported since the nationwide eruption of tensions yesterday.

The defence secretary stated that a total of 08 lives have been claimed, including two police officers, amidst the tense situations while at least 219 individuals have sustained injuries, with some of them are in critical condition.

He said it is the duty of the police and the tri-forces to protect the law and order in the country and therefore called on all Sri Lankan citizens to help them to fulfill that task.  

Gunaratne said that there have been reports of groups of mainly youths, disregarding the state of emergency and the police curfew currently in effect, who are breaking into homes in various areas and committing crimes such as assault, murder, robbery and arson.  

According to the police, six persons had died in incidents in the Western Province and two in the Southern Province. 

The police added that 68 houses and 47 vehicles had been set on fire while damages have been caused to another 65 houses and 41 vehicles.

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