Serious crisis in Sri Lanka, worry about spillover – Jaishankar

S. Jaishankar - Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

Sri Lanka is facing “a very serious crisis” that makes India naturally worried, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar told an all-party meeting on Tuesday (July 19) and dismissed suggestions about such a situation arising in India.

Jaishankar, who made the initial remarks, and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi were among the senior members of the government at the briefing, which was also attended by P Chidambaram and Manickam Tagore of the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Sharad Pawar and T. R. Baalu and M. M. Abdulla of the DMK.

“The reason we took the initiative to request you all to join an all-party meeting was…this is a very serious crisis and what we are seeing in Sri Lanka is in many ways an unprecedented situation,” Jaishankar said.

“It is a matter which pertains to a very close neighbour and given the near proximity, we naturally worry about the consequences, the spillover it has for us,” he added.

Jaishankar also said there have seen some “misinformed comparisons” in the context of Sri Lanka wherein some people have asked whether “can such a situation happen in India”.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades, with a severe foreign exchange shortage hampering the import of essentials, including food, fuel and medicines.