Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s home in Kurunegala, in the north-western province of Sri Lanka, was set on fire on Monday, only hours after he tendered his resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, as the country struggles with increased civil unrest and a devastating economic crisis.
Anti-government demonstrators set fire to the homes of Moratuwa Mayor Saman Lal Fernando and MPs Sanath Nishantha, Ramesh Pathirana, Mahipala Herath, Thissa Kuttiarachchi, and Nimal Lanza earlier today.
Many demonstrators, including members of the Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF), rushed to the streets and attacked Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna MPs.
Furthermore, local police reported that two individuals were shot dead and five others were injured at the home of the Chairman of the Weeraketiya Pradeshiya Sabha.
The developments come as the Prime Minister has submitted his resignation and urged for the formation of an interim all-party cabinet to deal with the country’s ongoing economic crisis.
Despite an island-wide curfew, the military has been deployed on the roads to ensure peace.
During violent battles at the Galle Face demonstration site on Monday, more than a hundred protestors were injured, prompting a statewide curfew throughout the country.
Food and fuel shortages, skyrocketing prices, and power outages are hurting a large number of Sri Lankans, leading to massive protests against the government’s handling of the situation.
Foreign exchange shortages caused by a drop in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as risky economic measures, such as the government’s decision last year to restrict artificial fertilizers in an attempt to make Sri Lanka’s agriculture “100% organic,” are blamed for the crisis.
Sri Lanka has defaulted on its entire foreign debt of roughly USD 51 billion due to a severe scarcity of foreign money.
The economic condition has sparked widespread protests, with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa being called to quit.