Sri Lankan PM quits following violent clashes
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister resigns after anti-government protests left 78 people wounded.
After violent clashes between his supporters and anti-government protesters left 78 people wounded on Monday, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa announced his resignation Monday.
The 76-year-old Prime Minister sent his letter of resignation to his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, clearing the way for the formation of a "new unity government," according to the government's spokesperson.
The country's authorities imposed a countrywide curfew and deployed the army on Monday after dozens of people were injured in armed clashes when government supporters armed with sticks and clubs attacked protesters, according to AFP.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka was under increasing pressure to step down on Saturday, as the president's allies supported street protests and called for his resignation as the economic crisis in the country has grown worse.
Nalaka Godahewa, the Media Minister, announced his support for the thousands protesting against Rajapaksa outside his office, in demand for him and his family to give up power.
Sri Lanka hasn't suffered a worse economic meltdown since its independence in 1948. Its population has been experiencing frequent blackouts over the months in addition to shortages of fuel, food, medicine, and other essentials.
Protests have spread throughout the country in an expression of grievance about the deteriorating living standards. Civilians have been camping outside the President's office for over two weeks now.
The President has so far dropped two of his brothers, Chamal and Basil, and his nephew, Namal, from the Cabinet, and his older brother has just resigned. Protesters claim these changes are only "cosmetic".