Sri Lanka PM resigns as country witnesses massive clashes, ruling party MP killed

Protestors on road as Sri Lanka witnesses massive clashes following Mahinda Rajapaksa's resignation from PM post. [Photo: Twitter/ SriLankaTweet]

Amid the country facing its worst economic crisis, Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa tendered his resignation on Monday.

The development came on the day, the Sri Lankan police imposed a country wide curfew after clashes broke out between rival political camp in Colombo.

The ongoing protests resulted in injuries to more than 100 protesters in Colombo. A ruling party MP was killed in the clashes, and many were hospitalised, reports said quoting officials.

This comes days after President Gotbaya Rajapaksa in a special meeting on Friday requested the Prime Minister to step down as a solution to the ongoing political crisis in the country, Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror reported.

Now that the Prime Minister has resigned, President Rajapaksa is expected to invite all the political parties in Parliament to form an all-party Cabinet.

Earlier, the opposition party Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) confirmed that its leader Sajith Premadasa will not accept the PM’s post in an interim government, NDTV reported.

On Monday morning protesters held a demonstration opposite the Temple Trees, the official residence of the prime minister, urging Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa not to resign.

Following their meeting with the prime minister, they clashed with anti-government protesters near the Temple Trees.

At least 16 people who sustained injuries have been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital.

The resignation came shortly after he put out a tweet urging the general public to exercise restraint.

“While emotions are running high in #lka, I urge our general public to exercise restraint & remember that violence only begets violence. The economic crisis we’re in needs an economic solution which this administration is committed to resolving,” Mahinda said in a tweet.

Responding to Mahinda’s tweet, former Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara said, “The only violence was perpetrated by your ‘supporters’ – goons and thugs who came to your office first before going on to assault the peaceful protestors.”

Sri Lanka has been plunged in 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, the report said.

Protests have been ongoing for days calling on the government and lawmakers to find urgent solution.

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