Colombo: Newly-elected Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on Saturday thanked PM Narendra Modi and Indians for the generous humanitarian assistance extended to the country.
Taking to Twitter, the Indian High Embassy in Sri Lanka said that the island country's PM noted in response to a congratulatory letter that was given from PM Modi that the enduring ties of friendship flourished between the two countries.
"India and Sri Lanka have flourished over the years into a mutually rewarding partnership across multiple spheres," it added.
PM Modi on Monday assured Sri Lankan PM Gunawardena of India's continued support to the island nation in a congratulatory letter.
He also expressed hope that Sri Lanka will witness quick economic recovery, ensuring the prosperity and well-being of its people.
India has been at forefront of extending economic assistance to Sri Lanka as per their requirements and is one of the countries that have provided the maximum amount of assistance in time of need.
Since the beginning of 2022, Sri Lanka has experienced an escalating economic crisis and the government has defaulted on its foreign loans. The United Nations warned that 5.7 million people "require immediate humanitarian assistance."
More than 25 tons of drugs and medical supplies which were donated by the government and people of India during the last two months are valued at close to Sri Lanka Rupees (SLR) 370 million. This is in addition to the economic assistance of around $3.5 billion and supply of other humanitarian supplies such as rice, milk powder, and kerosene.
These humanitarian supplies are in continuation of the government of India's ongoing support to the people of Sri Lanka in multiple forms such as financial assistance, forex support, material supply, and many more.
These efforts prove that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Neighbourhood First' policy which places people-to-people engagement is still active.
India is becoming a stronger and more mutually beneficial partner to Sri Lanka. Apart from assistance during the pandemic and fertilizer chaos, India is also donating basic products to the island nation.
Sri Lanka has been suffering a diesel shortage since February, which led to hours of daily power cuts. Presently, Sri Lanka is struggling with acute food and electricity shortages, forcing the country to seek help from its neighbours.
The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a clampdown on tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is unable to buy sufficient fuel and gas, while people are deprived of basic amenities as well.