Lankan crisis: Ruling party MP dies in clash


Colombo :Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned Monday after dozens of people were hospitalised when his supporters armed with sticks and clubs attacked protestors. A legislator from Sri Lanka’s ruling party died in the clashes.  MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala opened fire and critically wounded two people blocking his car in Nittambuwa, and was later found dead after trying to take refuge in a nearby building, officers said.  The country has suffered months of blackouts and dire shortages of food, fuel and medicines in its worst economic crisis since independence, sparking weeks of overwhelmingly peaceful anti-government demonstrations.  Rajapaksa’s spokesman Rohan Weliwita said the 76-year-old sent his letter of resignation to his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, clearing the way for a new unity government.  Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Airlines on Monday urged passengers to produce their air ticket and passport at checkpoints to reach Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) after authorities imposed nationwide curfew and deployed the Army in Colombo following clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters amidst the political turmoil in the island nation.