3 more arrested for torching Wickremesinghe’s residence in Colombo during anti-government protests

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Three more persons have been arrested for allegedly torching Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s private residence during last month’s massive anti-government protests, taking the total number of arrests to seven, according to a media report on Tuesday.

The Criminal Investigation Department arrested three suspects between the ages of 18 and 22 on Monday from Piliyandala and Narahenpita areas, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported.

Last month, Sri Lankan police had arrested four suspects in connection with the incident and were remanded in judicial custody till August 10 based on the instructions from Colombo Fort Magistrate Court, the report said.

On July 9, in remarkable scenes of a country in meltdown, anti-government protesters set Mr. Wickremesinghe’s private residence at Cambridge Place on fire.

Mr. Wickremesinghe said much of the contents in his private residence were not salvageable, with extensive destruction to his 125-year-old piano and more than 4,000 books gutted.

“I have lost more than 4,000 books, including some that were centuries old,” the former Prime Minister said last month.

A 125-year-old piano was also destroyed in the fire, he added.

A video released on July 10 showed grim visuals of Mr. Wickremesinghe’s charred residence and a damaged sedan among others.

Paintings and artworks were also seen strewn across the house and the compound.

Mr. Wickremesinghe was elected Sri Lanka’s eighth President last month after his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country over a massive public uprising against him and his family over the gross mismanagement of the country’s economy.