Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned amid anti-government protests due to the worsening economic crisis in the country, ANI reported, quoting local media. 

The resignation comes hours after Sri Lankan authorities imposed a nationwide curfew and deployed Army troops in Colombo after supporters of the government attacked anti-government protesters outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa‘s office, leaving over 75 people injured. They also clashed with police who had to resort to tear gas and water cannon to drive them back. As many as 36 injured people have been hospitalised. 

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“While emotions are running high in #Ika, 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,” Mahinda had tweeted shortly after the violence.

Also Read: Lanka crisis: President, PM urge people to exercise restraint; say violence only begets violence

The island nation is currently facing the worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948. The crisis is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has left the nation unable to pay for imports of basic goods and gasoline, resulting in severe shortages and exorbitant costs.

Also Read: In the making: A South Asian economic crisis?

Thousands of protestors have hit the streets across the country since April 9 seeking the resignation of President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahinda. This was after the country announced it was defaulting on its $51 billion foreign debt.

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“Strongly condemn the violent acts taking place by those inciting & participating, irrespective of political allegiances. Violence won’t solve the current problems,” President Rajapaksa tweeted after Monday’s violence.