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Sri Lanka crisis: UN calls for dialogue to ensure ‘smooth transition’ of govt

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oi-Prakash KL

| Updated: Tuesday, July 12, 2022, 14:06 [IST]

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United Nations, July 11: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for dialogue to ensure a smooth transition of government in Sri Lanka and find sustainable solutions to the economic crisis.

"I stand in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka & call for dialogue to ensure a smooth transition of government & to find sustainable solutions to the economic crisis," Guterres tweeted.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

The Secretary-General also condemned all acts of violence and called for those responsible to be held accountable, underlining the paramount importance of maintaining peace. He stressed that the United Nations stands ready to support Sri Lanka and its people.

Thousands of irate Sri Lankan anti-government protesters on Saturday stormed into embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's official residence after breaking the barricades, as they demanded his resignation over the island nation's worst economic crisis in recent memory. They also set Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's house on fire.

Explained: How will Sri Lanka appoint a new President if Gotabaya Rajapaksa resignsExplained: How will Sri Lanka appoint a new President if Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigns

After the July 9 protest, both President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe offered to resign to pay the way for an all-party government.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, crippled by an acute shortage of foreign exchange that has left it struggling to pay for essential imports of fuel, and other essentials.

The country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, had announced in April that it is suspending nearly USD 7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about USD 25 billion due through 2026.

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