A Sri Lankan court today banned former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, his politician son Namal and 15 allies from leaving the country over acts of violence against anti-government demonstrators.
The court has also asked police to investigate Monday's mob attacks on peaceful protesters, which led to retaliatory violence that claimed nine lives and caused widespread destruction.
The army has been called in to patrol on the streets after days of violence.
Security forces have been given orders to shoot looters on sight.
Yesterday night, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa pledged to give up most of his executive powers and set up a new cabinet this week.
Protesters have sprayed graffiti over Mahinda Rajapaksa's home in a southern town and ransacked a museum dedicated to his father. They have vowed to keep up the protests until the president also quits.
Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken refuge at the Trincomalee naval base on Sri Lanka's east coast.
Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to be appointed as the new Prime Minister. He has already served in the office five times.
Many Sri Lankans thronged buses in the main city Colombo today to return to their hometowns with leaders of political parties due to meet after the prime minister quit and went into hiding.
Streets in Colombo were quiet, with some people venturing out to buy essential supplies. Frustration remained at ongoing fuel shortages that have crippled the country's economy.
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