NEW DELHI: Another tranche of 11,000 metric tonnes of rice from India reached Sri Lanka, amid the Island nation’s economic catastrophe. The aid reaches at a time when Sri Lanka is expected to celebrate Sinhalese and Tamil New Year on April 13 and 14.
Prior to this, 16,000 metric tonnes of rice was supplied by India to the island nation.
“16,000 MT rice supplied under India’s multi-pronged support to Sri Lanka in the past week alone. These supplies which mark the special bond between India & Sri Lanka will continue,” Indian High Commission in Colombo stated in a tweet.
Indian Oil Corporation sent 6,000 metric tonnes of diesel to the country which is facing an economic catastrophe, a high price hike of essential commodities, and a frustrating electricity shortage. India recently extended financial assistance of USD1 billion to crisis-hit Sri Lanka following its appeal for a supply of essential items including food and medicines.
Prior to this in January, India extended financial support to Sri Lanka that included deferment of an Asian Clearing Union payment of over USD 515 million and a credit swap of USD 400 million. Altogether, Indian support to the crisis-hit nation in the first quarter of 2022 has exceeded the mark of USD 2.5 billion.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu has reported that those leaving Sri Lanka are trespassing into the state via waterways. The state is not sure whether to treat them as refugees or illegal migrants.
Earlier this month, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and urged him to allow the state to send essential items to crisis-hit Sri Lanka.
Last week, MK Stalin rang up External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and requested permission for sending rice, dal and essential medicines from Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.