Former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa will not flee Sri Lanka - Namal

Sri Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapaksa who resigned as prime minister after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters and sparked a day of violence will not flee the country, his son Namal Rajapaksa told AFP on Tuesday.

Mahinda had to be evacuated by the military from his official residence on Monday night after it was besieged by an angry crowd.

“There are a lot of rumours that we are going to leave. We will not leave the country,” he said, describing the surge of national anger against his family as a “bad patch”.

He added that Mahinda would not step down as a lawmaker and wanted to play an active role in choosing his successor.

Mahinda was taken to an undisclosed location after protesters on Monday night breached the compound fence at Temple Trees, his official residence in the capital Colombo.

“My father is safe, he is at a safe location and he is communicating with the family,” said Namal, who served as the country’s sports minister until a cabinet shake-up last month.