The embattled Sri Lankan president lost majority in parliamentary as former allies have urged his resignation in the wake of raging street protests over the island nation’s crippling economic crisis.

Unprecedented shortages of food and fuel along with record inflation and blackouts have inflicted widespread misery in the country’s most painful downturn since independence from Britain in 1948.

Once-powerful ruling coalition of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is in turmoil after a string of defections and the new finance minister’s resignation just one day after taking office.


On the other hand, anti-Rajapaksa demonstrations continued for a fifth straight day and the government warned of retaliation if rallies turned violent.

“Security forces will not hesitate to enforce the law against those involved in violence,” defence ministry secretary Kamal Gunaratne said in a statement.

More than 60 people had been arrested in connection with unrest since Friday and many have said they were tortured in police custody.

The UN Human Rights Council said it was closely watching the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka, which is already facing international censure over its human rights record.

“The drift towards militarisation and the weakening of institutional checks and balances in Sri Lanka have affected the state’s ability to effectively tackle the economic crisis,” the UNHRC said.