UN calls for smooth transition of govt in Sri Lanka

Colombo [Sri Lanka], July 11 (ANI): The United Nations has called for a smooth transition to a legitimate government in Sri Lanka in the wake of rising tension in the island nation due to a severe economic crisis.

“Given the ongoing economic crisis there is a need for a smooth transition to a legitimate government, that can continue dialogue with all relevant national and international stakeholders to support Sri Lanka cope with its worst economic crisis since independence,” said Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, Resident Coordinator, United Nations in Sri Lanka.

“Food security, agriculture, livelihoods, and access to health for the most vulnerable must be prioritized with immediate action to avoid further suffering,” she added.

Singer-Hamdy said the UN continues to monitor the situation closely and is ready to assist in dialogue as needed. “As we do around the world, the UN calls for respect for human rights, rule of law and democratic governance in Sri Lanka,” she said.

“It is important that all incidents of violence against journalists, peaceful protestors and harm to property are investigated and that those responsible are held accountable,” she added.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stands in solidarity with the Sri Lankan people and calls on all stakeholders to engage in dialogue to ensure a smooth transition of government and to find sustainable solutions to the economic crisis, his spokesperson said on Monday.

“The Secretary-General continues to follow developments in Sri Lanka closely. He stands in solidarity with the Sri Lankan people and calls on all stakeholders to engage in dialogue to ensure a smooth transition of government and to find sustainable solutions to the economic crisis,” said Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

“The Secretary-General condemns all acts of violence and calls for those responsible to be held accountable, underlining the paramount importance of maintaining the peace. The United Nations stands ready to support Sri Lanka and its people,” the UN spokesperson said.

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday said he will step down from the presidency on July 13 amid economic and political instability. On Monday, Sri Lanka’s speaker of parliament said political party leaders have decided to elect a new president on July 20 through a vote in parliament.

In a statement, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that following a meeting with all political party leaders, it was decided to convene parliament sessions on July 15 and inform the parliament that there was a vacancy for the presidency.

Nominations for the presidency will be called for on July 19 and a vote will be taken on July 20 to elect a new president, the speaker said. Party leaders also decided to form an all-party government under the new president and take steps to continue the supply of essential services.

Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948, which comes on the heels of successive waves of COVID-19, threatening to undo years of development progress and severely undermining the country’s ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The oil supply shortage has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice. Reduced domestic agricultural production, a lack of foreign exchange reserves, and local currency depreciation have fuelled the shortages.

The economic crisis will push families into hunger and poverty – some for the first time – adding to the half a million people who the World Bank estimates have fallen below the poverty line because of the pandemic. (ANI)

Disclaimer: This report is automatically generated from worldwide news services. NTN is not responsible for its content and does not moderate it.

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