Sri Lanka's prime minister resigned amid growing violence in the capital.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa announced on Monday that he had submitted his resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, his brother. The resignation arrived after weeks of protests over the country's growing inflation turned violent, requiring the government to impose a curfew and involve the military.
"Effective immediately I have tendered my resignation as Prime Minister to the President," Rajapaksa tweeted. It is unclear if the president accepted his resignation.
The resignation arrived hours after government supporters assaulted peaceful demonstrators outside the president's house. More than 70 people were injured, according to the Washington Post.
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Footage of Government supporters assaulting protester at "GotaGoGama" pic.twitter.com/nAxkbQi1nX— NewsWire 🇱🇰 (@NewsWireLK) May 9, 2022
The country has struggled with months of anti-government demonstrations pushing for both Rajapaksa brothers to resign from their posts over their roles in the country's worst economic crisis in decades. The government defaulted on several foreign loans, estimated to be worth $50 billion. The coronavirus pandemic, which caused food prices to soar and power sources to struggle, accelerated the debts.
The prime minister's resignation would open the door for the president to try and place opposition members in crucial government roles, according to Bloomberg. The president has offered to give opposition members prominent positions in the past in an attempt to end the country's economic crisis. It remains unclear if Rajapaksa's resignation will please protesters or if they will continue to demand the president's resignation.
The prime minister's resignation could have a detrimental effect on the Sri Lankan government's efficacy. His resignation would also dissolve Sri Lanka's federal Cabinet, making it unclear who would deal with international entities such as the International Monetary Fund to get the necessary funding to keep the country afloat.
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The president declared a state of emergency on Friday, allowing him to use sweeping powers to suspend laws, detain protesters, and seize property. The government declared a curfew on Monday, followed by the deployment of the military across the country.