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India supports democratic transition in Sri Lanka, will aid economic recovery

“India will always be guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes,” the MEA spokesperson said

May 10, 2022
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India Tuesday said that it will “always be guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes”, making it clear that it will not take sides in the political churning in Sri Lanka but will support the country's "democracy, stability and economic recovery.”

Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said, “As a close neighbour of Sri Lanka, with historical ties, India is fully supportive of its democracy, stability and economic recovery.”

“In keeping with our Neighbourhood First policy, India has extended, this year alone, support worth over US$ 3.5 billion to the people of Sri Lanka for helping them overcome their current difficulties. In addition, the people of India have provided assistance for mitigating the shortages of essential items such as food, medicine, etc,” he said.

“India will always be guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes,” the MEA spokesperson said.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday so that a unity government – as proposed by his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa – could come to power, but protesters demanded that his brother also quit as president.

Rajapaksa’s resignation was preceded by clashes in Colombo, where the ruling party’s supporters surrounded an anti-government protest camp and were forced back by the police. Parliamentarian Amarakeerthi Athukorala died after a standoff with anti-government protesters in Nittambuwa near Colombo, the police said. Local media showed video footage in which the ancestral home of the Rajapaksa family in Hambantota was set on fire. Government supporters were attacked in several places, local media reported.

A nationwide curfew has been imposed on top of the state of emergency that Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced last week. Sri Lankan citizens have been holding peaceful protests demanding that the Rajapaksa brothers step down as the nation faces prolonged power cuts and shortages of fuel, cooking gas and medicines.

(SAM)

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