As per the Sri Lankan government’s spokesperson, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday amid the island nation’s biggest economic crisis since independence, which has led to widespread protests in the country.
“The prime minister has sent his letter of resignation to the president,” the government officials said to the news agency Reuters. Moreover, PTI has reported that two Sri Lankan cabinet ministers have also resigned.
The resignation clears the way for the President (Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the younger brother of the prime minister) to appoint opposition members to crucial cabinet positions, which is one of the solutions he has recommended to settle the situation. However, it is uncertain whether the prime minister’s resignation would calm outraged Sri Lankan citizens who have asked for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to quit as well.
According to Bloomberg, the resignation of the Prime Minister would also result in the dissolution of the federal cabinet, creating issues about who would lead Sri Lanka’s continuing discussions with the International Monetary Fund for emergency financing to purchase food and gasoline. Rising prices for everything from gasoline to crucial medications have fueled protests in Sri Lanka, which is at the edge of bankruptcy and has delayed payments on its foreign debt.
On Monday, Sri Lankan authorities set a statewide curfew and deployed Army forces in the city after pro-government groups attacked protestors outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office, injuring at least 78 people.