Sri Lankan PM resigns amid protests

Clashes between supporters and opponents of the government resulted in almost a hundred injured. The country is mired in a deep economic crisis and food is scarce.

The Sri Lanka Police decreed this Monday (05.09.2022) a curfew in Colombo, the most populous city and commercial capital of the country, in an attempt to control the chaos that arose after the harsh clashes between government supporters and sectors that They demand the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. According to the most recent reports, at least 80 people have been injured. The measure was later extended to the entire country.

In the midst of the political and financial crisis that is shaking the country, and after the news of the curfew was known, the Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, 76, offered to resign as a way to defuse the situation and open a door that would allow of the crisis through the formation of a government of national unity. The president, who is his younger brother, must now accept or reject the proposal.

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The followers of the president’s side, armed with sticks and iron, attacked the protesters who have been camping since April 9 in front of the presidential office. Police fired tear gas and used water cannons after government supporters broke through the ranks of security forces to destroy the camps of those demanding Rajapaksa’s departure.

The situation has left at least 80 people injured, according to initial reports, and led the US envoy to the small Asian island to condemn the violence “against peaceful protesters.” Julie Chung also called on the Sri Lankan government to investigate what The crisis broke out months ago, due to the serious shortage of food products, fuel and medicines, due to the lack of foreign currency to buy them.

The economic collapse began to be felt after the coronavirus pandemic cut off income from tourism and remittances. On April 12, the government decreed a moratorium on payments and requested financial aid and goods from China and India. This Monday, President Rajapaksa urged on Twitter “the population to show restraint and remember that violence only breeds violence.”

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“The economic crisis we find ourselves in needs an economic solution that this administration is committed to finding,” he added.

DZC (AFP, Reuters, EFE, Daily Mirror)

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