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Sri Lanka PM resigns; Ruling party MP found dead after clashes

The PM has sent his letter of resignation to his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, clearing the way for a "new unity government".

A ruling party MP has allegedly been killed in clashes between the pro and anti-government protesters. A Pro-Rajapaksa mob on Monday allegedly attacked protesters agitating peacefully outside the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s residence and President’s office.

Reportedly, the deceased MP was identified as MP P Amarakeerthi Athukorala, who earlier opened fire and wounded two people blocking his car in Nittambuwa area.

The MP was later found dead after trying to take refuge in a nearby building.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahindra Rajapaksa reportedly resigned from his post following the violence.

The PM has sent his letter of resignation to his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, clearing the way for a “new unity government”.

“I am resigning with immediate effect so that you will be able to appoint an all-party government to guide the country out of the current economic crisis,” the Prime Minister said in the letter, reported news agency AFP.

The biggest clashes since the economic crisis hit the island nation started this morning when supporters of the Rajapaksa family went on the rampage.

Following the incident, the Sri Lankan Police declared a curfew on the entire island and the Army moved into Galle face, where a large number of protesters have been camping for over a month.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader and Member of Parliament Sajith Premdasa arrived at the site but were attacked by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party supporters and got hurt.

The SLPP supporters barged through the police barrier, attacked the protesters, and set fire to tents set up by them. The police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the unruly supporters.

Sri Lanka is currently in the throes of unprecedented economic turmoil since its independence from Britain in 1948.

Thousands of demonstrators have hit the streets across Sri Lanka since April 9, as the government ran out of money for vital imports; prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed and there are acute shortages in fuel, medicines, and electricity supply.

First Published: 9th May, 2022 18:21 IST

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