Defying a nationwide curfew in Sri Lanka, hundreds of protesters continue to chant anti-government slogans a day after the prime minister’s resignation. Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The prime minister, along with his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is blamed for leading the country into its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948.
Protesters packed the entrance to the president’s office in Colombo for 32 days to demand that he follow in his brother’s footsteps and resign.
The site in front of Rajapaksa’s office has seen sustained crowds of thousands for weeks, but was reduced to a few hundred on Tuesday due to a strict curfew following clashes on Monday.
Local television footage showed anti-government protesters chanting for the president to step down and also rebuilding tents damaged in Monday’s attack.
A government decree issued on Monday night confirmed the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksawhat came after violence broke out outside the Rajapaksas’ offices as ruling party supporters beat protesters with wooden and iron poles.
Authorities quickly deployed armed troops to many parts of the country and imposed a curfew until Wednesday.
The ambush of supporters triggered immediate anger and chaos, as people began attacking ruling party politicians. More than a dozen houses belonging to them were vandalized and burned.
At least seven people, including a ruling party lawmaker, were killed and more than 225 wounded in Monday’s violence.
“People are still not happy. They say we started this whole process because we say the Rajapaksas have to go home,” Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez said in her report from Colombo.