Sri Lanka: Ruling Party MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala Takes His Own Life After Killing A Protestor, PM Rajpakse Quits As Violence Spreads

by Swarajya Staff - May 9, 2022 07:03 PM +05:30 IST
Sri Lanka: Ruling Party MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala Takes His Own Life After Killing A Protestor, PM Rajpakse Quits As Violence SpreadsAmarakeerthi Athukorala
Snapshot
  • Amarakeerthi Athukorala, a parliamentarian belonging to ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party representing the Polonnaruwa District, has committed suicide, during violent demonstration outside the capital Colombo.

    Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday amid unprecedented economic turmoil, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office, leaving at least 130 people injured and prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy army troops in the capital.

Amarakeerthi Athukorala, a parliamentarian belonging to the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party representing the Polonnaruwa District, has reportedly committed suicide during violent demonstrations outside the capital Colombo.

According to initial reports, Amarakeerthi Athukorala opened fire and critically wounded three anti-government protestors who were blocking his car on the Colombo-Kandy highway near the town of Nittambuwa. One of them died out of injuries inflicted by the gunshot. Three others were injured in the incident and later admitted to the Wathupitiywala Base Hospital in Nittambuwa.

CCTV footage from area showed MP Athukorla running for safety and taking shelter in a nearby building.

Thousands of protestors then surrounded the building, and MP Athukorla then took his own life with his revolver. His personal security officer is also reportedly dead.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday amid unprecedented economic turmoil, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office, leaving at least 130 people injured and prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy army troops in the capital.

The country witnessed violent protests on Monday as pressure mounted on the embattled government led by his younger brother and President Gotabaya to form an interim administration to overcome the worst economic crisis facing the country.

Curfew was imposed islandwide with immediate effect until further notice, a police spokesperson was quoted as saying by the local media.

A military contingent was deployed to the protest site to assist law enforcement after clashes between pro-government and protestors at MynaGoGama and GotaGoGama protest sites left around 130 people injured.

The defence secretary has urged public support to maintain peace in the country, while three armed forces have been called in to assist police for public security. Leave for all police personnel was cancelled until further notice.

Sri Lanka is currently in the throes of unprecedented economic turmoil since its independence from Britain in 1948. The crisis is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has meant that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.

Thousands of demonstrators have hit the streets across Sri Lanka since April 9, seeking the resignation of President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahinda, as the government ran out of money for vital imports; prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed, and there are acute shortages in fuel, medicines and electricity supply.

(With input from PTI)

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