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Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa steps down; MP, 4 others killed in clashes

Houses of legislator, former minister set on fire in curfew-bound nation

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sri lanka | Economic Crisis

Agencies  |  Colombo 

Sri Lanka
Scores of Rajapaksa loyalists attacked unarmed protesters camping outside the president’s office at the sea-front Galle Face promenade in downtown Colombo since April 9. Photo: Reuters

Sri Lankan Prime Minister resigned on Monday, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters outside embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office, leaving at least 150 people injured and prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy army troops.

At least two Cabinet ministers have also announced their resignations.

Prime Minister Mahinda, 76, sent his resignation letter to the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa after violent scenes were witnessed in Colombo.

The violence occurred as pressure mounted on the embattled government led by his younger brother and President Gotabaya to form an interim administration to overcome the worst facing the country.

A Sri Lankan parliamentarian of the ruling party of the Rajapakasas and his personal security officer were killed on Monday in clashes between anti- and pro-government protesters in the country.

Amarakeerthi Athukorala, a Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP from the Polonnaruwa district, was surrounded by anti-government groups at the north western town of Nittambuwa, the police said.

The people said that gunfire came from his SUV, and when the angry mobs toppled the car, he fled and took refuge in a building and committed suicide by pulling his own revolver.

The death toll in clashes in has risen to five, news agency AFP reported citing the police.

Former Minister Johnston Fernando’s residence in Mount Lavinia and the house of MP Sanath Nishantha were attacked by the protesters and set on fire.

The confrontation began with hundreds of ruling party supporters rallying outside the prime minister’s official residence before marching to an anti-government protest site outside the presidential office.

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First Published: Mon, May 09 2022. 23:01 IST
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