India assures support to economic recovery in Sri Lanka
India– India assured Sri Lanka on Saturday that it would continue to support the country’s democracy, stability, and economic recovery, a crucial milestone in the unprecedented political crisis and economic turmoil.
When visiting the leader of Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner of India, Gopal Baglay, gave the Speaker of Parliament a guarantee from Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. The meeting was held the day after Chair Abei Waldena accepted the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
During the meeting, “High Commissioner Bagley acknowledged the role of Parliament in supporting the framework of democracy and the Constitution, especially at this important point,” the High Commissioner of India tweeted.
“Communicates continued support for democracy, stability, and economic recovery in Sri Lanka,” the mission wrote. Sri Lanka has faced the worst economic crisis in 70 years, and a severe foreign exchange shortage has hampered imports of essentials such as food, fuel, and medicine.
The economic crisis also triggered a national political crisis after a mass rebellion against the government fled the country to Rajapaksa and resigned as president. The 4,444 Sri Lankan lawmakers met on Saturday to begin the process of electing a new leader to replace Mr. Rajapaksa, who is currently in Singapore.
An island nation at the tip of southeastern India needs about $5 billion over the next six months to meet the basic needs of 22 million people suffering from long queues, increasing shortages, and power outages. This year, India was the main source of foreign aid to Sri Lanka.
On Friday, the Indian High Commission here reiterated that India will continue to stand with the people of Sri Lanka as they seek to realise their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means and values, as well as established institutions and a constitutional framework.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi on Thursday that India looked undefined to an early solution to the situation related to the government and its leadership in Sri Lanka through democratic means and values, established institutions, and a constitutional framework.
The spokesperson added that India will support the people of Sri Lanka in all possible ways in their endeavour to find a way forward. The spokesperson noted India responded with urgency to assist the people of Sri Lanka in overcoming their economic hardships and emphasised that India expeditiously finalised and delivered assistance as well as support worth about $3.8 billion in 2022.
India’s assistance has been in the form of currency swaps; deferment of repayment of Sri Lanka’s liabilities to the Reserve Bank of India under the Asian Clearing Union mechanism; and credit assistance of more than $1.5 billion for fuel, food, medicine, fertilisers, and other essential commodities.