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Sri Lanka PM resigns, Rajapaksa family home burnt down amid clashes: 10 points

Scores of Rajapaksa loyalists on Monday attacked unarmed protesters camping outside the president's office on a seafront promenade in Colombo.
Anti-government demonstrators set fire on the house owned by minister Sanath Nishantha of resigned Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's cabinet.(REUTERS)
Updated on May 09, 2022 11:02 PM IST
By | Written by Aniruddha Dhar, New Delhi

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday resigned from his position even as the country saw its worst political violence - killing at least five people including an MP and wounding almost 200 - ever since the anti-government protest against the economic crisis began weeks ago.

The protests also saw people across ethnicities, religions and class taking to the streets as the Island nation is reeling under the worst financial crisis.

Here are the latest updates on Sri Lankan political crisis:

1. Scores of Rajapaksa loyalists on Monday attacked unarmed protesters camping outside the president's office on a seafront promenade in downtown Colombo.

2. Amarakeerthi Athukorala, an MP from the ruling party, shot two people -- killing a 27-year-old man -- and then took his own life after being surrounded by a mob of anti-government protesters outside Colombo.

3. Police fired tear gas and a water cannon at the protest site, but not forcefully enough to control the mob.

4. Local news reports also said the military was ordered to quell the violence in Colombo. There was no immediate comment from the army.

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5. As many as 181 people have been hospitalised, a Colombo National Hospital spokesman told news agency AFP.

Also Read | Sri Lanka economic crisis: Embattled PM Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns

6. Mahinda Rajapaksa tendered his resignation as prime minister, saying it was to pave the way for a unity government -- but the clashes didn't stop.

7. Incidents of violence, especially targeting homes and properties of government lawmakers were reported from across the country. The DailyMirror newspaper reported that the ancestral home of the Rajapaksa family in the southern district of Hambantota was set on fire.

8. Protesters allegedly attacked the Rajapaksa museum in the family's ancestral village and set it on fire. Two wax statues of the Rajapaksa parents were flattened.

9. The attack occurred despite a state of emergency declared by the president Friday that gave him wide powers for riot control.

10. Former Sri Lankan cricketer Arjuna Ranatunga accused the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) of gathering violent groups at the official residence of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

(With inputs from agencies)

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