Monday, June 17, 2024

Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns amid anti-govt protests

The country’s crisis began after the coronavirus pandemic hammered vital income from tourism and remittances, leaving it short of foreign currency needed to pay off its debt and forcing the government to ban the imports of many goods.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned on Monday, local media reported.

Rajapaksa’s resignation comes soon after Sri Lankan authorities imposed a nationwide curfew and deployed the army on Monday after dozens of people were hospitalised in the biggest clashes in weeks of anti-government protests.

Until now, the Rajapaksa brothers – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa – had defied calls for their resignation even as unrest and protests against the government intensified.

Sri Lankans have suffered months of blackouts and dire shortages of food, fuel and medicines in the island’s worst economic crisis since independence, sparking weeks of overwhelmingly peaceful anti-government protests.

The country’s crisis began after the coronavirus pandemic hammered vital income from tourism and remittances, leaving it short of foreign currency needed to pay off its debt and forcing the government to ban the imports of many goods.

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