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Yet to receive resignation letter from President Rajapaksa: Sri Lankan Speaker

Colombo: Amid the deteriorating political situation in the country, Sri Lanka's Parliament Speaker Yapa Abeywardena on Thursday said that he is yet to receive the resignation letter from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

"The Speaker of Sri Lanka's Parliament is yet to receive the Letter of Resignation from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa," said the Sri Lankan Speaker's office.

73-year-old Gotabaya Rajapaksa had gone into hiding after crowds of protesters stormed his residence on July 9 and he had announced that he will hand over his resignation letter on Wednesday.

Later, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa along with his wife escaped to the Maldives. Subsequently, he appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the interim President of Sri Lanka.

Wickremesinghe declared an emergency and imposed a curfew in the western province of the country on July 13 as protesters came prepared to face tear gas shelling by security forces in the country.

The country is facing a severe shortage of fuel and other essential supplies and is in the throes of its worst economic crisis with soaring inflation. 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.

Amid the unrest in Sri Lanka, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday said that it is important to address the conflict and grievances of protestors.

Taking to Twitter, the UN Chief urged all party leaders of Sri Lanka to compromise for a peaceful and democratic transition.

"I continue to follow the situation in Sri Lanka very closely. It is important that the root causes of the conflict and protestors' grievances are addressed. I urge all party leaders to embrace the spirit of compromise for a peaceful and democratic transition," he tweeted. (ANI)

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