Photos: After PM, Sri Lanka protesters now want president to quit
The Rajapaksas are blamed for leading the island into its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948.
Defying a nationwide curfew in Sri Lanka, hundreds of protesters continue to chant slogans against the government a day after the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The premier is blamed, along with his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for leading the country into its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948.
Protesters swarmed the entrance to the president’s office in Colombo for the 32nd day to demand that he follow in his brother’s footsteps and quit.
The site outside Rajapaksa’s office has seen sustained crowds of thousands for weeks but had dropped to a few hundred on Tuesday due to a strict curfew following Monday’s clashes.
Local television visuals showed anti-government protesters shouting slogans for the president to resign and also rebuilding tents damaged in Monday’s attack.
A government decree issued on Monday night confirmed Mahinda Rajapaksa’s resignation, which came after violence erupted in front of the Rajapaksas’ offices as supporters of the governing party hit the protesters with wooden and iron poles.
Authorities swiftly deployed armed troops in many parts of the country and imposed a curfew until Wednesday.
The ambush by the supporters triggered immediate anger and chaos, as people started attacking the governing party politicians. More than a dozen houses belonging to them were vandalised and set ablaze.
At least seven people, including a governing party legislator, were killed and more than 225 were wounded in Monday’s violence.
“People are still not happy. They say we started this entire process because we say that the Rajapaksas have to go home,” Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez said in her report from Colombo.