Sri Lanka sees most violent day in recent weeks; PM quits, MP dies: 10 points

Sri Lanka crisis: The opposition has blamed the Rajpaksas - the country's most powerful political family - for plunging Sri Lanka into crisis. 
Sri Lanka crisis: Government supporters and police clash outside the President's office in Colombo on May 9, 2022. (AFP)
Sri Lanka crisis: Government supporters and police clash outside the President's office in Colombo on May 9, 2022. (AFP)
Published on May 10, 2022 06:48 AM IST
Copy Link

Sri Lanka saw its most violent day in recent weeks as prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa quit from his post on Monday and clashes - far and wide - claimed at least five lives and left over 200 injured. Lawmaker Amarakeerthi Athukorala of the ruling party shot dead a 27-year-old man and then took his own life, reports said, as the country remained tense amid an economic crisis taking it down the spiral. The Rajapaksas have been the South Asian nation’s most powerful political family for decades but the current economic challenges have turned into a political quagmire for them. There have also been calls for president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down. A nationwide curfew has been called till Wednesday while the army has been deployed in the capital city of Colombo.

Here are ten points on the Sri Lanka crisis:

1. “Effective immediately I have tendered my resignation as Prime Minister to the President (sic),” Mahinda Rajapaksa tweeted on Monday in an announcement that paves way for the formation of a united government. “While emotions are running high in #lka, I urge our general public to exercise restraint & remember that violence only begets violence. The economic crisis we're in needs an economic solution which this administration is committed to resolving,” he wrote in another post.

2. Scenes of chaos emerged as supporters of the Rajapaksas stepped out for demonstrations and violence enveloped the streets. Protesters who have camped out in downtown Colombo for weeks to demand the resignation of Rajpaksa brothers were also reportedly targeted.

3. The country has been struggling to meet the basic needs of the people. Imports of everything from milk to fuel have plunged, spawning dire food shortages and rolling power cuts are only some aspects of the escalating crisis.

4. “Closely monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka. We're deeply concerned by the violence against peaceful protesters & innocent bystanders are urging all Sri Lankans to focus on finding and enabling long-term solutions to the country’s economic & political challenges (sic),” the US Department of States said in a tweet.

5. The ancestral home of the Rajapaksa family in the southern district of Hambantota was set on fire while local reports said demonstrators also tried to storm the prime minister’s residence in Colombo’s Temple Trees neighborhood.

6. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who once blamed international factors for the crisis, is said to be more isolated amid the fast developments.

7. The president issued a statement inviting all parties in parliament to join together in a united national government to get through the crisis

8. Sri Lanka has billions in debt and prices of everyday essentials have been soaring, making it difficult for the people to meet their basic needs.

9. Leader of opposition Sajith Premadasa in a tweet said: "We are very capable of defending ourselves against state sponsored violence but we must not forget we are also capable of compassion.The future generations are watching how we choose to express our anger. Non-violence is the only true and acceptable path.”

10. Sri Lankan stocks have been one of the worst performers in the world this year, according to a Bloomberg report.

(With inputs from Reuters, AP, Bloomberg)


    A newsroom junkie with 11+ years of experience with print and online publications; travel and books are the soup for the soul.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Two people have been shot dead in a shooting at a nightclub in Oslo.

    Norway: Two dead, several wounded in shooting at nightclub in Oslo

    Two people were killed and several severely wounded in a shooting at a nightclub in Norway's capital Oslo, Norwegian police said early on Saturday. A suspect was apprehended nearby, police added. "Two people are confirmed dead," the Oslo police department said in a tweet.

  • File photo of UK PM Boris Johnson.

    Boris Johnson in crisis after Tories lose in UK polls

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson denied he was worried that some of his ministers might seek to move against him while he was out of the country at summits in Rwanda and Germany, following election losses overnight. Asked if he was concerned about Conservative lawmakers who were not ministers seeking to oust him, Johnson said no. “Clearly we've got to listen to these results,” he said from Rwanda, where he is attending a Commonwealth summit.

  • Ukrainian service members patrol an area in the city of Sievierodonetsk.

    Ukrainian forces to retreat from key battleground city

    Ukraine was set to pull its troops from the ruined city of Sievierodonetsk after weeks of street fighting and bombardment, the regional governor said, in what would be a significant gain for Russia as it grinds out its offensive in the east. Reuters could not independently verify any of the battlefield accounts.

  • File photo of US President Donald Trump.

    ‘God made abortion decision': Donald Trump on top court ruling

    Former US president Donald Trump on Friday said "God made the decision" to end the national right to abortion after the Supreme Court overturned nearly five decades of settled law. "This is following the Constitution, and giving rights back when they should have been given long ago," Trump told Fox News after a 6-3 majority said individual states should be allowed to make their own rules on abortion.

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping hosts the 14th Brics Summit via video link in Beijing, on Thursday. (AP)

    China criticises blocs, invites 13 countries to Brics-related event

    Besides the leaders of the Brics countries, China had invited leaders of 13 countries for the event, seen to be Beijing's push to expand the five-member bloc. It was a mix of countries: Algeria, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Malaysia and Thailand.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, June 25, 2022