Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down as Prime Minister on Monday after deadly protests.
Rajapaksa’s resignation came hours after his supporters clashed with anti-government protesters and the police force who used tear gas and water cannon to drive them back, leaving three people dead and more than 150 wounded.
Rajapaksa’s office said the reason for his resignation was “to help form an interim, unity government, following weeks of sometimes violent protests across the country over shortages of fuel and other vital imports and spiraling prices,” news agency Al Jazeera reported.
For months, Sri Lanka suffered from blackouts and shortages of food, fuel, and medicines in its worst economic crisis that sparked weeks of anti-government demonstrations.
Meantime, local reports claimed that Rajapaksa loyalists attacked unarmed protesters who camped outside the president’s office in downtown Colombo.
The city was immediately put under curfew, which was later extended nationwide.
Earlier, a government official said PM Rajapaksa has sent his letter of resignation to his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
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