Sri Lanka: Prime minister ‘offers resignation’ and nationwide curfew imposed as violence erupts over economic crisis | World News

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The prime minister of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has reportedly offered his resignation after anti-government demonstrators clashed with police who used tear gas and water cannon in the capital Colombo.

The resignation report from an official comes as a curfew has been imposed on the whole of Sri Lanka after government supporters attacked protesters camped outside the president and prime minister’s offices.

“The prime minister has sent his letter of resignation to the president,” the official said, declining to be named.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the prime minister’s younger brother.

It comes as trade unions begin a “week of protests” demanding the government change and the president step down over the country’s worst economic crisis in memory.

Supporter of Sri Lanka's ruling party tugs a member of anti-government demonstrator by his shirt during a clash between the two groups, amid the country's economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Supporter of Sri Lanka’s ruling party tugs a member of anti-government demonstrator by his shirt

The country is on the brink of bankruptcy and has suspended payments on its foreign loans.

Its financial woes have brought on a political crisis, with the government facing widespread protests and a no-confidence motion in parliament.

The country’s government last week declared a state of emergency for the second time in five weeks, but public discontent has steadily simmered.

Sri Lankan protesters against the government help an injured colleague  beaten up by Rajapaksa supporters during a clash at the ongoing protest site outside president's office in Colombo, Sri Lanka,
Anti-government protesters help an injured man beaten up by Rajapaksa supporters

Supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa rallied inside his office earlier, urging him to ignore the protesters’ demands to step down and requesting he remain in office.

Hundreds of ruling party supporters also rallied outside the prime minister’s official residence before marching
to an anti-government protest site outside the presidential office.

A Sri Lankan Catholic priest , who is also protesting against is attacked by government supporters outside prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa???s official residence in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, May 9, 2022. Government supporters on Monday attacked protesters who have been camped outside the office of Sri Lanka's prime minster, as trade unions began a "Week of Protests" demanding the government change and its president to step down over the country's worst economic crisis in memory 
A Sri Lankan Catholic priest , who is protesting against, is attacked by government supporters

Police had formed a line of personnel ahead of time on the main road leading towards the site but did little to stop
pro-government protesters from advancing, according to a Reuters witness.

Pro-government supporters, some armed with iron bars, attacked anti-government demonstrators at the “Gota Go Gama” tent village that sprang up last month and became the focal point of the nationwide protests.

Police used dozens of tear gas rounds and water cannon to break up the confrontation, the first major clash between
pro-and anti-government supporters since the protests began in late March.

At least nine people were taken to Colombo’s National Hospital for treatment after suffering injuries or inhaling
tear gas during the clashes, a hospital official said, declining to be named.

“This is a peaceful protest,” Pasindu Senanayaka, an anti-government protestor told Reuters. “They attacked Gota Go Gama and set fire to our tents.”

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