‘Indian help to Sri Lanka quite significant’: Indian envoy to Sri Lanka on aid

8 April, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

sri lanka crisis National

Gopal Baglay has strongly dismissed allegations of the Indian Army being deployed in the island nation's economic crisis

Gopal Baglay, India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, has strongly dismissed allegations of the Indian Army being deployed in the island nation’s economic crisis, saying that the rumour has been circulating since April 1.

“Indian cooperation to Sri Lanka is pretty considerable,” Baglay remarked of the island nation’s economic crisis and Indian assistance.

Adding further he said, “India ramped up its efforts at a critical time, and we have come to help and assist, as well as to support our close friend. Sri Lanka is India’s nearest maritime neighbour, and it is at the crossroads of three major Indian foreign policy streams: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Neighbourhood First policy, and the SAGAR philosophy.”

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin informed the Centre on Thursday that the state is ready to transfer basic commodities such as rice and life-saving pharmaceuticals to Sri Lanka, citing the welfare of Tamils as a reason, and requested permission for distribution through the Indian High Commission.

He also urged the Centre to move quickly to have Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu released from Sri Lankan jails. In this context, Jaishankar promised to take suitable steps.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sri Lanka’s economy has been in free fall with food and fuel shortages affecting a substantial portion of the population.