Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the most powerful politician in recent history resigned yesterday amid mass protests at the government’s handling of a deepening economic crisis.
The letter of resignation was sent to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last evening in an attempt to resolve the current crisis.
The President has accepted the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also facing calls to step down.
The Secretary to the President last evening issued an Extraordinary Gazette Notification declaring the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa from the post of Prime Minister.
The Gazette Notification cites that the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa is effective as of the 9th of May 2022. The development comes after violent protests erupted opposite Temple Trees, Galle Face Green and several locations across Colombo and other cities.
The country was placed under curfew following violent clashes between Rajapaksa supporters and anti-government protesters in Colombo.
Meanwhile, Curfew, which is currently in effect across the country, has been extended till 7am on Wednesday (11).
Curfew was imposed according to provisions of Article 16 of the Public Security Ordinance.
Accordingly, no one will be permitted to remain on public roads, railway lines, parks, playgrounds, or public beaches, except under the authority of a written permit issued by an authorising officer.
Meanwhile, four people have died, including a Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Parliamentarian, and more than 200 injured in clashes.
Polonnaruwa District SLPP MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala and another individual died during a shooting incident and clashes in Nittambuwa.
Two individuals have died in a shooting reported adjacent to the residence of the Chairman of the Weeraketiya Pradeshiya Sabha while eight others have sustained injuries.
Police said several individuals in critical condition have been transferred from the Weeraketiya Hospital to the Tangalle Hospital.
A tense situation was also reported at the Temple Trees last evening.
Anti-government protesters attempted to storm the Temple Trees. Police fired tear gas on multiple occasions to disperse the group.
NewsRadio correspondents at the location said the side gates to the Temple Trees were rammed open by the group.
They reported that tear gas that was launched was thrown back into Temple Trees while cameras installed outside the Prime Minister’s official residence were also broken by the protesters.
Police also reportedly opened fire in the air to disperse the protesters who continued to remain outside Temple Trees late into the night.
Several residences of former Ministers, State Ministers and Parliamentarians were attacked yesterday, with several homes torched and stones pelted.
The homes and offices of Former State Minister Sanath Nishantha and his brother, the former Chairman of the Arachchikattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha, Jagath Samantha, former Ministers Ramesh Pathirana, Johnston Fernando, Prasanna Ranatunga, Shantha Bandara, Bandula Gunawardana, Arundika Fernando, Rohitha Abeygunawardena and several others were torched.
Meanwhile, the memorials of the parents of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, DA Rajapaksa and Dandinna Rajapaksa, were also destroyed by protesters.
GotaGoHome, set up at Galle Face, which was destroyed by pro-Rajapaksa supporters yesterday (9) has been re-established.
A group of supporters of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna yesterday lashed out at anti-government protesters.
Unrest and violence were reported from across the country following clashes that broke out outside the Temple Trees last morning.
Pro-Rajapaksa protesters following a gathering at the Temple Trees began breaking down the structures that were set up during the past few days outside the Temple Trees by anti-government protesters.
They then began clashing with the peaceful protesters which led to several individuals sustaining injuries. The structures were also set alight by the pro-government protesters.
The pro-Rajapaksa group then proceeded to march towards the Galle Face Green where they destroyed the structures set up there as well. Protesters claim that they will maintain GotaGoHome until President Gotabaya Rajapaksa steps down.
Civil activists, actors and several others held a media briefing last evening at GotaGoHome.
Actor Jagath Manuwara said the public is demanding a peaceful country, yet charged that the government instigated protests.
He said the people took to the streets against such violence.
The Socialist Youth Union says the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister is a win in itself in the people’s struggle.
National Organiser Eranga Gunasekera said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa must now be removed from the post.
Gunasekera said no one believed they could break the power that the Rajapaksa’s hold, yet achieved this very same goal.
He said they believed in the people’s power and believed that they could win this struggle. Gunasekera added the country’s progressive people have won a great battle.
However, he claimed that GotaGoHome remains their main goal.