Sri Lanka's Fort Magistrate’s Court issued a travel ban on former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and several others this morning, reportedly as part of investigations into the violence against anti-government protestors that took place earlier this week.
Amongst those restricted from leaving the island are Rajapaksa’s son and former minister Namal, as well as other key allies including Jonston Fernando.
Violence across the south left 9 people dead this week, as pro and anti-government mobs clashed.
Responding to the news, Namal Rajapaksa tweeted that he would “extend my fullest cooporation to any investigation that is taking place”.
“Neither my father nor myself have any intention to leave,” he added.
I personally will extend my fullest cooporation to any investigation that is taking place with regard to the unfortunate events that took place on Monday. Neither my father nor myself have any intention to leave #LKA & will continue to remain here.
— Namal Rajapaksa (@RajapaksaNamal) May 12, 2022
It remains unclear where the Rajapaksas could go, even if they did attempt to leave the island. India recently denied rumours that the family had fled there, whilst others have raised the possibility that Mahinda Rajapaksa could be arrested for crimes committed against Tamils in 2009, when tens of thousands were massacred.
Rajapaksa was president at the time, and since stepping down as Sri Lanka’s prime minister this week, has lost any diplomatic immunity, which may open the door for international prosecutions.