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Sri Lanka crisis: SC bars ex PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, Basil from leaving country until July 28

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International

oi-Deepika S

| Updated: Friday, July 15, 2022, 17:27 [IST]

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Colombo, July 15: Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Friday issued an interim order preventing former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa from leaving the country without the court's permission until July 28.

A petition was filed in the apex court as Basil Rajapaksa, the younger brother of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was earlier on Tuesday turned back at the Colombo airport as he attempted to leave the country through the VIP terminal.

Mahinda Rajapaksa Mahinda Rajapaksa

Basil, 71, tried to leave the bankrupt island nation a day before Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives from where he appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the acting President, escalating the political crisis and triggering a fresh wave of protests in the country reeling under the worst financial crisis in decades.

Basil, a US passport holder, resigned as finance minister in early April as street protests intensified against shortages of fuel, food, and other necessities and quit his seat in parliament in June.

Basil is being widely held responsible for the country's worst economic crisis which has heaped misery on the people.

Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as interim President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as interim President of Sri Lanka

Mahinda Rajapaksa, the patriarch of the Rajapaksa clan, resigned from the post of prime minister on 9 May, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters outside Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office.

Mahinda, 76, was earlier in May barred by a Sri Lankan court from travelling abroad in view of investigations against them for the deadly attack on anti-government protesters in Colombo.

The former prime minister was being protected at the country's Trincomalee naval base following his resignation from the post.

Wickremesinghe was sworn-in as Sri Lanka's new prime minister by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, days after his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials.

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