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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Resigns 

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FILE - FILE PHOTO: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa reacts during his swearing in ceremony as the new Prime Minister, at Kelaniya Buddhist temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Aug. 9, 2020.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaska resigned Monday following weeks of protests calling for him and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaska, to step down amid an economic crisis.

Officials said the prime minister sent a letter of resignation to the president. The prime minister also tweeted about stepping down early in the morning: "Effective immediately I have tendered my resignation as Prime Minister to the President."

The resignation comes after supporters of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party attacked anti-government protesters Monday outside the president's offices in Colombo, injuring at least 200 people.

Police officers try to protect a supporter of Sri Lanka's ruling party during a clash with anti-government demonstrators, in front of the Prime Minister's official residence, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 9, 2022.
Police officers try to protect a supporter of Sri Lanka's ruling party during a clash with anti-government demonstrators, in front of the Prime Minister's official residence, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 9, 2022.

Police fired tear gas and water cannon and imposed an indefinite curfew.

The Rajapaska government has been the target of much scrutiny from Sri Lankans. Protesters have criticized the brothers for not appropriately dealing with a deteriorating economy, the worst the country has seen since its independence in 1948.

The economic crisis has caused soaring inflation rates, month-long shortages of food, fuel and medical supplies, and unpredictable power blackouts.

The Rajapaska brothers have predominantly controlled Sri Lankan politics for the past two decades. Protesters continue to rally for the president's removal from power.

VOA's Zoya Mirza contributed to this report.

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