NEW DELHI: India is committed to extending support to the economic crisis that hit Sri Lanka, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday. Earlier this year, India allocated an amount of USD 3.5 billion to Sri Lanka “to overcome their current difficulties”.
“As a close neighbour of Sri Lanka, with historical ties, India is fully supportive of its democracy, stability and economic recovery. In keeping with our Neighbourhood First policy, India has extended this year alone support worth over USD 3.5 billion to the people of Sri Lanka for helping them overcome their current difficulties. In addition, the people of India have assisted in mitigating the shortages of essential items such as food, medicine etc,” Arindam Bagchi spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs stated in a media query.
“India will always be guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes,” MEA stated.
The Island state has been suffering from the worst economic crisis since independence. The price of essential commodities skyrocketed and the nation is facing a terrible electricity shortage. India extended financial assistance in various forms.
Tamil Nadu Government has also pledged support for the neighbouring country. TN Chief Minister Stalin announced Rs 1 crore from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam to support the crisis-hit nation.
The European Union has committed to providing nearly Euro 200,000 in humanitarian funding for essential assistance to 80,000 poor families across all 25 districts in Sri Lanka.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend financial support to Sri Lanka. Krisalina Georgieva, Managing Director of IMF, assured that IMF would support the crisis-hit state. A technical discussion between Colombo and the IMF began on May 9 and will continue till May 23.
Ex PM Rajapakse, Family Take Asylum in Naval Base
Meanwhile, in a spectacular fall of fortune former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa took shelter in Trincomalee Naval Base after his resignation on Monday.
Meanwhile, Rajapakse’s second son Yoshita Rajapaksa had left the country on a Singapore Airlines flight along with his wife.
Agitators have been protesting in front of the Temple Tree, the official residence, from where the Rajapaksas were rescued. On hearing the news, agitators also assembled in front of the base and continued their protest.
The ancestral house of Rajapaksas in Madamulana, Hambantota was set ablaze by a mob on Monday. There are serious allegations against Mahinda’s son Namal Rajapaksa of accepting millions of euros in bribes from an Australian pharma company. Namal, MP from Hambantota, served as the Minister of Youth and Sports from 2020 to 2022.
Sajith Premadasa, leader of the opposition has denied becoming the Prime Minister. It is learnt that Karu Jayasuriya is most likely to be named head of the interim government in Colombo.
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