India Supports Sri Lanka, Ready to Provide Assistance

© AFP 2023 / -Protestors participate in an anti-government demonstration outside the President's office in Colombo on July 9, 2022.
Protestors participate in an anti-government demonstration outside the President's office in Colombo on July 9, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.07.2022
NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - India is committed to supporting Sri Lanka and is seeking to provide the necessary assistance, though New Delhi is for now waiting for Colombo to resolve the internal turmoil, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Sunday.
"We are very supportive of Sri Lanka. We are trying to help, and we are always very helpful where it affects them. They are dealing with their problems right now, so we have to wait and see what they will do," Jaishankar said upon arrival in the India state of Kerala, answering a question about India's reaction to the recent events in Sri Lanka.
This view was echoed by Indian foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi, who also said that New Delhi is keeping a close eye on the developments in Sri Lanka and supports the people of the country in their pursuit of prosperity and progress "through democratic means."
"India is Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour and our two countries share deep civilizational bonds…We continue to follow closely the recent developments in Sri Lanka. India stands with the people of Sri Lanka as they seek to realize their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means and values, established institutions and constitutional framework," Bagchi said in a statement.
At the same time, he underscored India’s input into mitigating consequences of severe economic crises that have been gripping Sri Lanka for months and triggered the ongoing public unrest.
"In pursuance of the central place that Sri Lanka occupies in our Neighbourhood First policy, India has extended this year itself an unprecedented support of over US$ 3.8 billion for ameliorating the serious economic situation in Sri Lanka," Bagchi added.
Anti government protesters swim in a pool at the president's official residence after storming into it in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday July 9, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.07.2022
Watch: Sri Lanka Protesters Party in Pool, Work Out & Wrestle in Bed After Storming President's Home
On Sunday, Colombo was rocked by thousand-strong protests. Angry crowds tore through the barricades surrounding the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, climbed over the fence and took control of the area. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called an emergency meeting of the party leaders, which demanded that both the prime minister and the president resign immediately and provided for convening the parliament within 7 days to appoint an acting president.
Sri Lanka is now facing a major political and economic crisis considered the worst since gaining independence in 1948. In mid-April, Sri Lanka defaulted on its external debt for an interim period, pending a restructuring of the obligations under an IMF-supported economic adjustment program. The recession is attributed to ineffective government policies and foreign exchange shortages caused by a clampdown on tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. It left the country unable to buy enough fuel, with people facing an acute scarcity of food and basic necessities, heating fuel, and gas. Many regions have power outages.
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