Indian government calls an all-party meet on Sri Lanka crisis

India Sri Lanka flags

The Narendra Modi government has called for an all-party meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss the crucial issue of the Sri Lanka crisis.

India’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi made the announcement on Sunday saying, “On Tuesday, we are calling for another all-party meeting to brief on the Lankan crisis. We have requested Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to hold this briefing.”

According to the sources, the foreign secretary is likely to make a presentation before the members on the situation in Sri Lanka and the assistance that India has given in the past to the island nation. And the meeting is likely to start at 5:30 pm.

“The government is calling for suo motto meeting to address the concerns of several political parties, especially in Tamil Nadu as they are worried about the Sri Lankan crisis and the influx of refugees in the state,” the sources said.

In his recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Jaishankar, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin expressed his concern about the situation in Sri Lanka and asked for permission to send relief material to the economically-hit nation.

Sri Lanka is facing an economic and political crisis. Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned as president after protesters stormed his residence on July 9 and his resignation has been finally accepted by the Parliament Speaker.

Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Acting President on Friday, and Sri Lanka’s 225-member Parliament will elect the new president by a vote on July 20.

Currently, Sri Lanka is witnessing a severe shortage of fuel and other essential supplies and is in the throes of its worst economic crisis with soaring inflation. The oil supply shortage has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice.

Reduced domestic agricultural production, a lack of foreign exchange reserves, and local currency depreciation have fuelled the shortages.

The economic crisis will push families into hunger and poverty – some for the first time – adding to the half a million people who the World Bank estimates have fallen below the poverty line because of the pandemic.

Amidst the crisis in Sri Lanka, India has extended this year alone support of over USD 3.8 billion for ameliorating the serious economic situation in the island nation as a mark of its Neighbourhood First policy.