Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns amid deepening crisis, ruling party MP killed in clashes
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday resigned from his post amid protests over his government's failed economy, reported state media. At least two Cabinet ministers have also announced their resignations. Prime Minister Mahinda, 76, sent his resignation letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa after violent scenes were witnessed in Colombo.
Even though earlier reports claimed that the President had requested the Prime Minister to step down, the Prime Minister refuted the reports, stating that no such request had been made and that he will not step down.
However, following several discussions among the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party (SLPP) and its constituents parties, the Prime Minister has decided to resign from his designation.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Rajapaksa clan strongman, faced public wrath on Sunday in the sacred city of Anuradhapura. He was hooted and catcalled by the angry public who are on the streets demanding fuel, cooking gas and an end to power cuts.
A curfew has been imposed in entire Sri Lanka with immediate effect after clashes outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office left 23 wounded, said officials. Pro-government groups had attacked protestors outside the President's office, leading to the curfew.
In the violence, a ruling party MP had also died, reported news agency AFP. A military contingent was deployed to the protest site to assist law enforcement after clashes between pro-government and protestors at MynaGoGama and GotaGoGama protest sites left 78 people injured.
Sri Lanka is currently in the throes of unprecedented economic turmoil since its independence from Britain in 1948. The crisis is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has meant that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.
Thousands of demonstrators have hit the streets across Sri Lanka since April 9 seeking resignation of President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahinda, as the government ran out of money for vital imports; prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed and there are acute shortages in fuel, medicines and electricity supply.
Also Read | Sri Lanka crisis: Nationwide curfew clamped after fresh clashes; army deployed in Colombo
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