“MR resign!”, title the DailyMirror, Monday, May 9, to announce the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. “On Friday, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had asked his brother to resign from his post in order to resolve the current political crisis”, recalls the Sri Lankan daily on its website. This information was confirmed by the Prime Minister’s spokesperson.
On Monday, government supporters attacked protesters who have camped outside the presidential headquarters since early April. The latter are demanding the resignation of the government and the departure of the Rajapaksa family, against the backdrop of an unprecedented economic crisis. In the wake of this violence which left dozens injured, the government imposed a curfew across the entire island of 22 million inhabitants.
on one’s last legs
The resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa potentially paves the way for the appointment of a government of national unity but may not calm the anger of demonstrators who are also demanding the departure of his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Two other ministers have also resigned according to the Indian daily The Indian Express. Sri Lanka, short of foreign currency and on the verge of bankruptcy, faces severe shortages of basic necessities: from food to medicine to fuel. The inhabitants have been forced to live for months to the rhythm of power cuts.
The country recently declared default on its foreign debt and the government has called for help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).