COLOMBO – Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned amid mass protests against the government’s handling of the economic crisis.
The move comes as the island nation has been placed under curfew following violent clashes between Rajapksa supporters and anti-government protesters in Colombo.
At least 78 people have been injured in the violence in the capital, according to a local hospital.
Since last month, there have been protests against rising prices and power cuts.
The island nation is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. The government has appealed for emergency financial aid.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, 76, sent his resignation letter to his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, saying he hoped it would help resolve the crisis, but the move is highly unlikely to satisfy opponents of the government as long as he is in power.
Since the protests erupted in early April, protesters have camped outside President Rajapaksa’s office, demanding his resignation.
Earlier in the day, police were deployed following violence outside the offices of the Prime Minister and President in Colombo.
- Editor/ additional report by BBC News