Govt calls all-party meet on Sri Lanka crisis today; Sitharaman, Jaishankar to brief MPs

Govt calls all-party meet on Sri Lanka crisis today; Sitharaman, Jaishankar to brief MPs

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New Delhi, July 19: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will brief leaders of various political parties on the Sri Lankan crisis during an all-party meeting on July 19.

India has so far provided assistance worth over US $3.8 billion this year to help crisis-hit Sri Lanka and also sent consignments of food, fuel, medicines, fertilizers, and other essentials.

Govt calls all-party meet on Sri Lanka crisis today; Sitharaman, Jaishankar to brief MPs
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi has assured Sri Lanka that it will continue to support democracy, stability, and economic recovery in the country, which is at a crucial juncture amid the unprecedented political crisis and economic turmoil.

During an all-party meeting convened on Sunday ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament, Tamil Nadu-based DMK and AIADMK demanded India intervene in the neighbouring country.

Sri Lanka acting president says IMF talks nearing conclusionSri Lanka acting president says IMF talks nearing conclusion

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.

The economic crisis also sparked a political crisis in the country after a popular uprising against the government.

The monsoon session commenced on July 18 and is scheduled to continue till August 12.

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis also sparked a political upheaval in the country after a popular uprising against the government forced Rajapaksa to flee the country and resign as president.

The island nation off the tip of southeast India needs about $5 billion in the next six months to cover basic necessities for its 22 million people, who have been struggling with long queues, worsening shortages and power cuts.

India has been the principal source of foreign assistance to Sri Lanka this year.

Sri Lankan protesters have vowed to continue their struggle for a complete change of the system by abolishing the presidency, as the popular uprising that ousted Gotabaya Rajapaksa as president marked the 100th day on Sunday.

The anti-government protests began on April 9 near the presidential office and have been continuing without a break.

Rajapaksa, 73, who reached Singapore formally resigned on July 15, capping off a chaotic 72 hours in the crisis-hit nation that saw protesters storm many iconic buildings, including the President and the Prime Minister’s residences here.

Story first published: Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 8:54 [IST]

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