Lankan crisis: Ruling party MP dies in clash with anti-govt protesters

MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala opened fire and critically wounded two people blocking his car in Nittambuwa, and was later found dead after trying to take refuge in a nearby building, officers said.
Lankan crisis: Ruling party MP dies in clash with anti-govt protesters
Protesters hold banners and placards during a demonstrationAFP

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned Monday after dozens of people were hospitalised when his supporters armed with sticks and clubs attacked protestors. A legislator from Sri Lanka's ruling party died in the clashes.

MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala opened fire and critically wounded two people blocking his car in Nittambuwa, and was later found dead after trying to take refuge in a nearby building, officers said.

The country has suffered months of blackouts and dire shortages of food, fuel and medicines in its worst economic crisis since independence, sparking weeks of overwhelmingly peaceful anti-government demonstrations.

Rajapaksa's spokesman Rohan Weliwita said the 76-year-old sent his letter of resignation to his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, clearing the way for a "new unity government".

"I am resigning with immediate effect so that you will be able to appoint an all-party government to guide the country out of the current economic crisis," the prime minister said in the letter.

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