Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa Steps Down After Nation-wide Violence

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Demonstrators and government supporters clash outside the president’s office in Colombo on Monday. — AFP/Getty Images

Protests against the government have raged since March, with thousands demanding the influential family quit politics for mishandling the economy.

Clarion India

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has resigned after weeks of widespread protests over the island nation’s worst economic crisis since independence.

The move came as police imposed a nationwide curfew in response to violence in the commercial capital, Colombo, where supporters of the ruling party stormed a key protest site, attacking anti-government demonstrators and clashing with police who used teargas and water cannon to drive them back, the Gaurdian reported.

Protests against the government have raged since March, with thousands demanding the influential family quit politics for mishandling the economy.

Earlier on Monday, hundreds of ruling party supporters rallied outside the prime minister’s official residence before marching to an anti-government protest site outside the presidential office.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who himself is facing calls to quit, had last week asked his brother and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to step down from the PM’s post to pave the way for an all-party government to resolve the ongoing political crisis.

However, Mahinda Rajapaksa had been adamant that only he could head any government.

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