Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns

Following anti-government protests across the island nation, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has reportedly resigned this afternoon.

Until now, the Rajapaksa brothers - President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa - had defied calls for their resignation even as unrest and protests against the government intensified.

On Monday, following reports that Mahinda Rajapaksa may offer to step down as prime minister, a violent clash erupted outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office. Pro-government groups attacked protesters and more than 20 people were injured in the ensuing violence. The government then imposed a nationwide curfew and deployed army troops in the capital.

He took the decision days after Sri Lankan President and his younger brother Gotbaya Rajapaksa in a special meeting requested him to step down from power as a solution to the ongoing political crisis in the country.

The move comes amid mounting pressure on the embattled government to form an interim administration to overcome the economic crisis facing the country.

Sri Lanka is witnessing its worst economic downturn since independence with power blackouts and severe shortages of food, fuel and pharmaceuticals.