Colombo, May 28
India sent 15,000 litres of kerosene to Sri Lanka on Saturday to help 700 fisherfolk and power ferry services in the Tamil-dominated Jaffna city, days after it delivered around 40,000 metric tonnes of petrol to the debt-ridden island nation which is grappling with its worst economic crisis.
India extended an additional USD 500 million credit line to Sri Lanka last month to help the neighbouring country import fuel as it has been struggling to pay for imports after its foreign exchange reserves plummeted sharply in recent times, causing a devaluation of its currency and spiralling inflation.
“Continuing Indian assistance to Sri Lanka. 15000 ltrs of kerosene gifted to 700 fishermen of Delft, Nainativu, Eluvaitivu & Analitivu. CG Shri Raakesh Natraj with Fisheries Min Hon. Douglas Devananda initiated distribution; part of the consignment will also power ferry service between islands,” the Consulate General of India in Jaffna said in a tweet.
India on Friday handed over 25 tonnes of medical supplies worth over USD 700,000 to Sri Lanka as part of its ongoing efforts to help the island nation combat its worst economic crisis.
India on Monday said it delivered around 40,000 metric tonnes of petrol to Sri Lanka, days after supplying 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel under the Indian credit line to help ease the acute fuel shortage in the country.
Last week, India sent urgent relief supplies comprising 9,000 metric tonnes (MT) of rice, 200 MT of milk powder and 24 MT of life-saving medicines with a combined value of Rs 45 crore to Sri Lanka.
On Friday, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed appreciation for the support India has been extending to his country during “this difficult period”.
Taking to Twitter, the prime minister said he had a conversation with India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday.
“I expressed our country’s appreciation for the support India has extended during this difficult period. I look forward to further strengthening ties between our nations,” he wrote.
Sri Lanka is going through the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948.
A crippling shortage of foreign reserves has led to long queues for fuel, cooking gas and other essentials while power cuts and soaring food prices heaped misery on the people.
The economic crisis has also triggered a political crisis in Sri Lanka and a demand for the resignation of the powerful Rajapaksas.