India to supply water and rice to drought hit Sri Lanka
India is to donate eight water bowsers or large tanks and 100 metric tons of rice to Sri Lanka, as part of drought relief for the island country which is headed for one of its worst droughts in 30 years.
The assistance was conveyed by India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar who visited Sri Lanka from February 18-20, for bilateral discussions with Sri Lankan leaders.
Reservoirs in Sri Lanka are reported to be running at 30 per cent or less capacity.
According to a recent survey by the World Food Programme and the government, the rains last year were 23 per cent less than the 30-year average.
The poor rains has also hit sowing. Of 800,000 acres, only a little above 300,000 was planted with the staple rice crop during the last harvesting season.
“This is the lowest cultivation level experienced in Sri Lanka during the last thirty years,” the WFP-government joint survey said.
Water bowsers are large water-filled tanks that can also be fitted on wheels.
During his visit, Jaishankar called on President Maithripala Sirisena, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He also met Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, and other senior Ministers as well as Secretary to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Esala Weerakoon. His visit is part of the continued high level engagement between the two countries and comes ahead of the likely visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the country in May for the Vesak Day celebrations.
Jaishankar also interacted with a Tamil National Alliance delegation led by Leader of Opposition, R. Sampanthan, a delegation from Tamil Progressive Alliance comprising Minister of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan, Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development P. Digambaram, State Minister of Education V. Radhakrishnan, and a delegation from Ceylon Workers Congress led by A. Thondaman.
Jaishankar met with the leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Minister of City Planning and Water Supply, Rauff Hakeem and leader of All Ceylon Makkal Congress, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen.
Jaishankar reviewed the entire gamut of our bilateral relations, particularly Indian assisted economic projects and development particularly with Sri Lanka.
Earlier this month, Pakistan airlifted 25 tonnes of rice as relief to Sri Lanka as part of drought relief.
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The Indian Bowsers should be completely disinfected and sanitised before use.
Some interested party (RAW?) may have coated the inside of the Bowsers with some powerful substances which will have a delirious effect of the consumers.
The Indians bombed Yaalpaanam with rice and parippu packets and started a civil war. Then they came as IPKF and exterminated at least 20,000 civilians in the North/East under the guide of peace.
Now they are offering these bowsers to the drought-stricken people in Anuradhapura and Pollonnaruwa to change their minds through powerful man-made substances added in the water from the bowsers.
If I were FM, I would have given just an hour’s meeting with this Jaiya Shankar and bid him ‘Bye, Bye, Baiya’; go away no return’ and sent him back to Chennai where he can provide a progress report to the jailed Chief Minister, Shashikala’ who was the maid in the Late Jayalaitha’s magnificent household.
Somasundram ! This is why the reason like you people are not even think for the eligibility of FM. If you dont know the politics and foreign policies of governments pls stay away.
so you are justifying the Tamil terrorist LTTE. May I know what’s the ground muslim community who were chased in 90’s from north and subsequently from the east. By the way give me the detail report of katankudi massacre in 90.It is a diverse subject of IPKF and so silly and cunningly diverting all the blame on them.
It is hoped it is without strings and without getting a foothold on any part of Trincomalee It is hoped our government does not take this offer
The government ought to find a lasting solution to the water problem. As is there is enough water that precipitates to meet the country’s need. agriculture is dependent on rain. The reservoirs built in recent times do no store enough water to last a single season. The experts who designed the reservoirs at then rate of silting speculated a life span of about 25 years, Even though they have survived beyond the fact remains that they are siliting fast this cannot be disputed for the Mahaweli Authority to date failed to assess this claim and what they plan to do about it. This happens as we continue to pay back the loans raised for this project. The Mahaweli was considered a mulyipurpose scheme that generated lectricity and to irigate an extent over 150,000 acres (economic review of March 1977). This raises the question of the sustainability of these projects compared with the contemporary projects of recent times (Galy Oya and Uda Walawe) thesto meet the e were insignificant compared with those of historical times. Now it is all talk and lttle action the people are starved of water to meet the domestic needs let alone irrigate the parched land of Anuradhpura and polaonnaruwa.
It is for the government to develop a meaning strategy to conserv the free good ….rain… for posterity are we going to rely on Coca Cola.
Agriculture receives only lip service, I know for I worked for the department of agriculture and was posted to the Maha Illupalla Dry Zone Research Station …my three year stay there was nothing more than an exiting holiday with pay. The most I treasure was time spent barbecuing on the Kala Wewa bund