Philippines election nears close in historic vote for president

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has offered to resign, says a government official, as protests over the island nation’s worsening economic crisis turn violent.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the prime minister’s younger brother.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s spokesman Rohan Weliwita said the 76-year-old leader sent his resignation to clear the way for a “new unity government” suggested by the president to fight the country’s worst economic crisis since independence from the British rule in 1948.Rajapaksa’s offer to quit came hours after his party’s supporters stormed a major protest site in Colombo, attacking anti-government demonstrators and clashing with police who used tear gas and water cannon to drive them back.

A curfew has been imposed across the island nation of 22 million people after the violence.

Protests against the powerful Rajapaksas have raged for weeks, with thousands demanding the influential family quit for mishandling the economy.

Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez, reporting from Colombo, said the protesters are “unlikely to be appeased” by the prime minister’s offer to resign.“Sacrificing Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for the president’s survival is not something that is going to go down easily with the protesters,” she said.

Earlier on Monday, hundreds of ruling party supporters rallied outside the prime minister’s official residence before marching to an anti-government protest site outside the presidential office.

Related Articles

Back to top button