"When there is a dangerous situation in the country, powers are given to the military to deal with it. Don't ever think that we are trying to capture power," Defence Secretary Gunaratne said.
On Tuesday, Sri Lanka's Defense Ministry ordered the country's armed forces to open fire on anyone looting public property or causing harm to others following a day of violent clashes.
"When there is a dangerous situation in the country, powers are given to the military to deal with it. Don't ever think that we are trying to capture power... The military has no such intentions," Defence Ministry Secretary Kamal Gunaratne said, as reported by BNDB News.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa also urged people to remain calm, and refrain from violence and acts of revenge against others, adding that all efforts will be made to restore political stability through consensus.
There have been a number of violent incidents in the country after pro-government groups clashed with anti-government protesters on Monday, leaving eight people dead and over 200 injured. A nationwide curfew was imposed and the military was deployed to maintain order.
On Monday, the mass protests took on violent overtones as people attacked politicians and their cars and residences. Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as prime minister unleashing an institutional crisis.
Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena on Tuesday asked the Sri Lankan president to reconvene parliament, and find a solution to the crisis. Abeywardena said the parliament must be convened immediately to appoint a new prime minister and a cabinet of ministers.
Sri Lanka has been plunged into weeks of economic crisis stemming from a foreign exchange shortage which has led to a shortage in essential supplies such as fuel, food, and medicines.