India sent a shipment of 40,000 MT of diesel as assistance to the forex-strapped Sri Lanka on Monday late night. The development was confirmed by the High Commission of India in Colombo in a tweet. The tweet read, “Powering Sri Lanka!!! A shipment of 40,000 MT of diesel supplied under Indian assistance reached Colombo yesterday evening.”
Earlier this week, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has also appreciated India’s support during the tumultuous period. He took to Twitter and said, “I expressed our country’s appreciation for the support India has extended during this difficult period. I look forward to further strengthening ties between our nations.”
Earlier in April, India also provided medical supplies worth $700,000 to the island nation as part of its ongoing efforts to help Sri Lanka tide over its worst economic crisis. Humanitarian supplies include kerosene oil for Sri Lankan fishermen, 9,000 MT rice, 200 MT milk powder and 24 MT life-saving medicines.
India has extended about $3.5 billion in assistance by way of loan deferments, credit lines for essential imports and credit swaps since January.
Meanwhile, the island nation has asked airlines to carry enough jet fuel to last return trips or fill up elsewhere. As per an Indian Oil Corporation official, there is increased refueling by international flights to and from Colombo at airports located in southern India.
Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation director Rayhan Wanniappa told news agency Reuters, “We’ve asked airlines to carry the required fuel while operating to Sri Lanka, because there is a shortage of aviation fuel, and we have to manage the situation.” He added, “Airlines are bringing certain additional supplies, while we are also providing from our stocks.”
(With agency inputs)
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