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Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa quits after violent clashes


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SRI LANKA (AFP) – Amid the worst economic crisis the country has seen since independence, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from his post on Monday.

This comes days after President Gotbaya Rajapaksa in a special meeting requested the PM to step down as a solution to the ongoing political crisis in the country.

Sri Lanka s health minister Prof Channa Jayasumana has also handed over his letter of resignation to the President.

A curfew has been imposed across Sri Lanka after supporters of the country s ruling party stormed a major protest site in Colombo, attacking anti-government demonstrators and clashing with police who used tear gas and water cannon to drive them back.

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.

But on Monday clashes erupted in Colombo between opponents and supporters of the family of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and brother Mahinda, the prime minister.

Police fired tear gas and water cannon and declared an immediate curfew in Colombo which was later widened to include the entire South Asian island nation of 22 million people.

As many as 36 injured people were hospitalised, Colombo National Hospital spokesman Pushpa Soysa told.

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