Sri Lankan PM quits after violent clashes – World

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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday, his spokesman said, shortly after violent clashes between his supporters and anti-government protesters left 78 people injured.

A 76-year-old man sent a letter of resignation to his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, paving the way for a “new unity government”, spokesman Rohan Weliwita said.

Earlier in the day, Sri Lankan authorities had set a time to return home and send troops after several people were hospitalized when government supporters armed with sticks and sticks attacked the protesters. AFP Reporters said.

The US ambassador to Sri Lanka has denounced “violence against peaceful protesters today, and called on the government to conduct a thorough investigation, including the arrest and prosecution of anyone who incites violence”.

Sri Lankans have been plagued by months of power outages and shortages of food, fuel and medicine for the island’s worst economic crisis since independence, sparking weeks of peaceful protests against the government.

But on Monday, the biggest conflict since the crisis began in Colombo as supporters of the presidential family and the prime minister, has continued, AFP Reporters at the scene said.

Police fired tear gas and water cannons and announced the immediate return to Colombo which was later extended to include the entire Asian island nation of 22 million people.

At least 78 injured people have been hospitalized, said Colombo National Hospital spokesman Pushpa Soysa AFP. Officials said police had been called to strengthen the police.

Soldiers have been deployed in all of this to prevent the supply of fuel and other essentials but so far, not to prevent conflict.

Many Rajapaksa loyalists attacked unarmed protesters setting up camp outside the presidential office on the Galle Face beach in downtown Colombo from April 9, AFP Reporters said.

The riots erupted after several thousand supporters of the prime minister, imported buses from rural areas, left his immediate area.

Rajapaksa had spoken to about 3,000 supporters in his house and promised to “protect the interests of the nation.”

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

They then marched to the coastal area of ​​Galle Face and began destroying other tents set up by the “Gota go home” campaign for the president to step down.

“Strongly condemn the acts of violence perpetrated by those who influence and participate, regardless of their political affiliation. Violence does not solve our problems, ”President Rajapaksa tweeted.

Opposition member Sajith Premadasa tried to enter the area after the clash, but was attacked by a mob and his security staff put him in a car and drove off.

“The president must accept responsibility for this violence instigated by the prime minister!”, Opposition Member Eran Wickramaratne wrote on Twitter.

“You can’t drive us to stand with our people.”

US Ambassador Julie Chung tweeted: “We sympathize with the victims today and urge people to remain calm and calm throughout the island.

‘Prevention’

The worst violence since police opened fire killed one protester and wounded 24 others blocking a railway line and a highway between Colombo and the city center in Kandy on April 19.

The police said the host it would burn a tank that carries the duration in the town of Rambokkana, 100 miles east of the capital.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday urged “our general public to exercise restraint and remember that violence breeds only violence.

“The current economic crisis requires a solution to the economic crisis,” he said on Twitter.

On Friday, the government imposed a state of emergency that allowed the military to arrest and detain people after trade unions set up the country.

The defense minister said in a statement Sunday that anti-government protesters were acting “in a provocative and intimidating manner” and disrupting essential services.

President Rajapaksa has not been seen in public since tens of thousands tried to raid his private residence in Colombo on March 31.

The largest opposition party has said it will not join any government led by a member of the Rajapaksa House.

The Sri Lankan crisis began after a coronavirus epidemic hit significant revenue and tourism exports, leaving short of foreign exchange needed to pay off its debt and forcing the government to close its exports.

This has led to severe shortages, rising prices and prolonged power outages.

In April, the country announced a $ 51 billion debt relief.

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