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Sri Lanka’s prime minister resigns

Pro-government supporters hit a protester outside the prime minister’s office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Monday. Associated Press/Photo by Eranga Jayawardena

Sri Lanka’s prime minister resigns

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa announced his resignation Monday in the government’s latest bid to quell frustration over a worsening economic crisis. Government supporters clashed with protesters earlier Monday, triggering widespread violence that killed at least four people and injured more than 150 others. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa imposed a countrywide curfew Monday evening, but protesters tried to break into the prime minister’s official residence overnight and set ablaze politicians’ homes elsewhere.

What has fueled the frustration? Sri Lanka has witnessed mass protests since April as the country ran out of food supplies, residents lost electricity, and doctors reported medicine shortages. Authorities blamed the pandemic, but protesters blamed the Rajapaksa political dynasty of mishandling the economy, prompting calls for a new government. The president is now the only member of the family still in power after others who served in the Cabinet also resigned.

Dig deeper: Read my World Tour report on the protests.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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