Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sri Lanka PM quits as violence kills 5



Sri Lanka PM quits as violence kills 5

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Vehicles were set ablaze near the official residence of the Sri Lankan prime minister amid anti-government protests. AFP

Sri Lanka PM quits as violence kills 5

Violence raged across Sri Lanka late into the night on Monday, with five people dead and some 180 injured as prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa quit after weeks of protests.

Those killed in the worst unrest since the crisis began included a lawmaker from the ruling party who shot two people. Another ruling party politician gunned down two others.

Earlier in the day, government supporters in the capital Colombo attacked with sticks and clubs opponents angry over Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis since the island nation’s 1948 independence.

“We were hit, the media were hit, women and children were hit,” one witness said, asking not to be named, as dozens of people were admitted to hospital.

US Ambassador Julie Chung tweeted that Washington condemned “the violence against peaceful protestors” and called for the Sri Lankan government “to conduct a full investigation, including the arrest & prosecution of anyone who incited violence”.

The clashes precipitated the resignation of prime minister Rajapaksa, the elder brother to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In stepping down, the premier said he was paving the way for a unity government.

But it was unclear if the opposition would join any administration with Gotabaya Rajapaksa as president, and the resignation failed to assuage public anger.

Retaliatory attacks by government opponents were reported across the island of 22 million people even after police declared an indefinite curfew.

Thousands of protestors tried to storm the official residence of the prime minister in the capital, setting fire to a truck at the entrance as they breached the main gate.

Police responded by firing tear gas and gunshots into the air from the residence where Mahinda Rajapaksa remained holed up.

Witnesses saw several tear gas cannisters hit the US embassy compound across from the Temple Trees residence, a key symbol of state power in the South Asian island.

Officials said the military deployed hundreds of troops to guard the outgoing premier and his aides at the building.

MOST VIEWED

  • Companies listed on CSX receive 50% deduction on income tax

    Tax incentives are granted to companies that have listed their shares or issued debt securities on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), whether they are small to medium-sized enterprises or large companies. The nine stock listed companies on the CSX – with seven listed on the Main

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Cambodia mourns over UK’s Queen Elizabeth II

    Cambodia has joined other nations around the world to mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, with King Norodom Sihanomi, Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly president Heng Samrin extending their condolences in separate letters. In his letter to the late Queen’s son –

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Railway project studies proceed

    The transport ministry is exploring options to expedite preliminary studies on key public railway infrastructure projects, especially the conversion of the Northern Railway Line that links to Thailand into high-speed rail. Railway freight and passenger transportation has been pinpointed as a major potential engine of