Lankan PM quits, Rajapaksas' family house set afire; army out : The Tribune India

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Lankan PM quits, Rajapaksas' family house set afire; army out

Clashes leave 130 injured | Curfew imposed nationwide

Lankan PM quits, Rajapaksas' family house set afire; army out

Protesters set afire the house of minister Sanath Nishantha in Arachchikattuwa, Sri Lanka. REUTERS



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 9

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned a few hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office on Monday, leaving at least 130 persons injured and triggering a nationwide curfew and army deployment in Colombo.

The ancestral house of the Rajapaksas in Hambantota was set on fire by anti-government protesters hours after Mahinda quit as PM.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned a few hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office on Monday.

The doyen of the Rajapaksa clan who has served as the President, Mahinda sent his resignation letter to his brother and Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Another brother Basil had resigned as Finance Minister after the economic crisis hit Sri Lanka early this year leading to rolling power cuts, shortage of fuel and medicines and high inflation.

“Effective immediately, I have tendered my resignation as Prime Minister to the President,” Mahinda tweeted after having resisted demands

for him to quit to pave way for the all-party interim government to be formed.

Mahinda said he was “ready to make any sacrifice even in the future in order to help the people and the government overcome the present crisis”. The violence mounted further pressure on the government, led by Gotabaya, to form an interim administration to combat the country’s worst-ever economic crisis. Immediately after the violence, curfew was imposed all over Sri Lanka with immediate effect, said a police spokesperson. Thousands of demonstrators have been on the streets for a month seeking the resignation of Gotabaya and Mahinda.

Gotabaya’s tweets suggested that he was demonstrating his control over the situation despite the departure of several members of the Rajapaksa clan from the top governance structure. “ Violence won’t solve the current problems,” he tweeted.

MP, PSO found dead

Cornered by protesters, MP Athukorala opened fire. His car toppled, he took refuge in a building and shot himself. The police said the MP and his PSO were found dead. PTI

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