India Dismisses Reports Claiming Troops Being Deployed to Control Violent Protests in Sri Lanka

© AFP 2023 / TAUSEEF MUSTAFAIndian army soldiers guard near the site of a gunbattle between suspected militants and government security forces in Nowgam area on the outskirts of Srinagar on March 16, 2022. (
Indian army soldiers guard near the site of a gunbattle between suspected militants and government security forces in Nowgam area on the outskirts of Srinagar on March 16, 2022. ( - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.05.2022
Month-long peaceful protests against the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government turned violent on Monday, killing at least seven people and injuring over 230. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's resignation did not calm the protesters' anger, as they are adamant about removing President Gotabaya Rajapaksa from power as well.
India has dismissed reports in sections of the media and on social media platforms about deploying Indian troops to Sri Lanka.

"These reports and such views are also not in keeping with the position of the Government of India", the Indian High Commission in Colombo said on Wednesday.

The High Commission pointed to a statement issued by the Indian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, declaring that New Delhi is fully supportive of Sri Lanka's democracy, stability, and economic recovery.
The ministry underlined that India would "always be guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes".
The Indian High Commission also denied rumours circulating in the media and on social media claiming certain Sri Lankan politicians and their families had fled to India.
These rumours started gaining momentum on Tuesday after Indian senior BJP parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy advised the government to send the Indian Army to "restore Constitutional sanity".
"At present anti-Indian foreign forces are taking advantage of people's anger. This affects India's national security", he said, without mentioning Sri Lanka.
On Wednesday, Swamy, considered close to the Rajapaksa family, said that India could not allow another Libya in its neighbourhood.

"Burning down the residences even of the Prime Minister, shooting dead MPs by mobs means rioters don't deserve any mercy", Swamy said.

In 1987, India sent over 1,500 troops to Sri Lanka after signing a bilateral accord intended to end four years of ethnic violence. However, India withdrew the troops without sorting out the conflict, which ended in 2009 under the Rajapaksa government.
Meanwhile, the situation in the island nation continues to remain tense as the military has been deployed in the streets after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered troops to shoot anyone in the event of violence.
Gotabaya has urged Sri Lankans to join hands to "overcome the economic, social and political challenges".
"I urge all Sri Lankans to reject the subversive attempts to push you towards racial & religious disharmony. Promoting moderation, toleration & coexistence is vital", the president said.
The government has also resumed negotiations on forming a unity government, as the parliamentary speaker called an all-party meeting at 3 PM (Sri Lankan time).
Demonstrators and government supporters clash outside the official residence of Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in Colombo on 9 May, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.05.2022
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Resigns Amid Anti-Government Protests
However, opposition parties on Wednesday issued statements saying they would not accept the prime minister's post under Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
An unprecedented forex reserve crisis triggered month-long protests as people endured long queues to purchase essentials such as food, fuel, and medicine.
The Sri Lankan government was not able to import essential products as it lacks forex reserves, which plummeted to $50 million last week over "faulty economic policies" underpinned by the COVID-19 induced slowdown.
Last month, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa reverted his long-time stance on assistance from the International Monetary Fund, announcing negotiations with the multilateral financial institution to provide at least a $4 billion loan to overcome the forex reserve crisis.
Sri Lanka has over $51 billion in debt, primarily from China, India, Japan, and some financial institutions.
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