The arrest happened after a shooting in Colombo following a period of political unrest.

Ranatunga’s security guards fired shots in the hopes of dispersing a mob that was reportedly attempting to kill Ranatunga at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) offices.

A member of the United National Party, Ranatunga was taken to safety shortly thereafter by officers of Sri Lanka’s elite Special Task Force. Following pressure from the local trade union, Ranatunga was taken into custody, but charges have not yet been laid.

‘They came to kill me – I state this responsibly – and you can check the CCTV footage. For the first time, I feared for my life. I thought of my children and my family,’ said Ranatunga after the incident in which three people were shot.

‘I was with Arjuna. It was horrible. We almost got killed. They tried to kill Ranatunga and me. Left with no other option, his bodyguards opened fire on the goons, killing one,’ a close aide to Ranatunga told News18.

Ranatunga was taken into police custody shortly after one of the injured men passed away as a result of his gunshot injuries.

‘Colombo crime division arrested Ranatunga over the shooting incident and he will be produced to court shortly,’ police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera later confirmed to Reuters.

Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung-IDI/IDI via Getty Images