Former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya lauded the Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sending help to the island nation and calling India a “big brother as it battles the worst economic crisis since independence.
Sanath Jayasuriya told ANI,”You know as always as a neighbour, the big brother of the next to our country has been helping us… We are very grateful to the Indian government and the Prime Minister (Modi). So, for us even to survive it is not very easy at the moment, things are going through… I hope that things will change and also with the help of India and other countries and we are trying to come out from this situation.”
The Sri Lankan rupee is fast depreciating against the dollar and foreign debt is mounting. The Sri Lankan government’s income has also taken a big hit due to a drop in tourism that has given rise to gas and fuel shortages, leading to massive power cuts.
As New Delhi is providing financial assistance to Colombo, India has announced another USD 1 billion as a credit to Sri Lanka to help shore up the sinking economy of the island nation. The USD 1 billion line of credit to Colombo will help in keeping their food prices and fuel costs under check.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka may run out of diesel by the end of this month with the $500 million line of credit extended by India for fuel purchase exhausting fast amidst the unprecedented shortage of foreign reserves.
People have been protesting for weeks over lengthy power cuts and shortage of gas, food and other basic goods.
According to officials, fuel shipments to Sri Lanka started coming in late March due to the urgency of the situation although they were scheduled to start from April 1.
Three more Indian shipments are due on April 15, 18 and 23 and the facility would be fully exhausted by then unless the Sri Lankan government sought for a further extension from India, they said.
Diesel is widely used for public transport and thermal power generation in the country.
*With inputs from agencies
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