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Colombo [Sri Lanka], May 15 (ANI): Admiring the resilience shown by the Sri Lankan people, the United Nations said that it stands with the people and hopes for a peaceful recovery from the current crisis, local media reported.

"Today the United Nations stands with Sri Lanka, we admire the resilience shown by her people, and are hopeful of a peaceful recovery from the current crisis," UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer-Hamdy said.

On the occasion of Vesak day, popularly known as 'Buddha Jayanti, Hanaa Singer-Hamdy on behalf of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Country Team in Sri Lanka wished everyone, Colombo Page reported.

"Hatred is, indeed, never appeased by hatred in this world. It is appeased only by loving-kindness," she quoted Dhammapada in her Vesak Day message.

"As Sri Lanka and the world journey through these troubled times, may this teaching of the Buddha from the Dhammapada guide you," Hamdy said.

Hanaa Singer-Hamdy said that Buddha's message of compassion, tolerance, and respect for one another is true today.

Hanaa Singer-Hamdy acknowledged the contributions of Buddhism to the world. She further said that then Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar brought a proposal to the United Nations General Assembly to make the Buddhist holy day an International Observance Day. And thus, Vesak was declared a Day of Observance by a General Assembly Resolution in 1999, reported Colombo Page.

"Not to do evil, to cultivate merit, to purify one's mind - this is the Teaching of the Buddhas," she further added.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices and power cuts affecting a large number of the citizens, resulting in massive protests over the government's handling of the situation.

The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a fall in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as reckless economic policies including the government's last year's move to ban chemical fertilizers in a bid to make Sri Lanka's agriculture "100 per cent organic".

Due to an acute shortage of foreign exchange, Sri Lanka recently defaulted on the entirety of its foreign debt amounting to about USD 51 billion.

The economic situation led to huge protests with demands for the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, with the former finally succumbing to public pressure and resigning on Monday, soon after the protests outside the Prime Minister's residence turned violent. (ANI)

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