MEA accepts Tamil Nadu’s proposal to send aid to Sri Lanka

MEA accepts Tamil Nadu’s proposal to send aid to Sri Lanka

India News

The Union Ministry of External Affairs wrote to the Tamil Nadu government Sunday accepting the state’s proposal to send humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka. The neighbouring country has been reeling under a severe economic crisis and a shortage of essential items.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar wrote to TN Chief Minister M K Stalin, saying the government may direct the state Chief Secretary “to coordinate with the Government of India to supply and distribute humanitarian relief material to the Sri Lankan Government.”

The letter said the aid to be sent by Tamil Nadu will be shared with the Sri Lankan government and distributed appropriately in the current circumstances.

The government of India’s response was in the wake of multiple communications from the state in the last month. After there was no response from the Centre — even though the matter was proposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Stalin in person during a meeting in Delhi a month ago, and a letter was written by the state government to the MEA minister Jaishankar on April 13 — the state government had passed a resolution in the Assembly last week urging the Centre’s permission to send assistance to the people of Sri Lanka.

The letter from Jaishankar said the union government was in contact with the Sri Lankan government through the Indian High Commission in Colombo. It has been ascertained that the island nation will accept inclusive relief on a government-to-government basis.

“Accordingly, Foreign Secretary had spoken to the Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu and highlighted on April 16, 2022, that Sri Lanka would be open to humanitarian support on a Government-to Government basis. Further, the Government of Sri Lanka as well as Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka are publicly of the view that such humanitarian gestures at a time like this need to be inclusive. This may be reflected in the distribution of supplies,” the letter said.

It said the Indian High Commission in Colombo would make the necessary arrangements for collecting and handling relief materials on behalf of the Indian government.

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