As Sri Lanka is going though the worst economic crisis in its history, India comes to their support. So, on the 22nd of May, India sent the first shipment of a humanitarian aid package worth 16 million dollars to Sri Lanka.
The first batch, amounting to approximately 5.6 million dollars, included medicine and food, like milk and rice. The Indian embassy confirmed that the products will be sent to poor families all across the country.
Sri Lanka is currently facing a dramatic situation, being unable to pay its debts and experiencing shortages of all kinds. At the moment, the country does not have enough supplies of fuel, food, medicine, but they also lack other essentials, like toilet paper and matches. At the same time, the country lacks the necessary foreign currency to purchase what they need from other countries.
According to ABC News, “Sri Lanka has suspended repayment of about $7 billion in foreign loans due this year out of $25 billion to be repaid by 2026. The country’s total foreign debt is $51 billion”.
However, India continues to provide support for their neighbors. They opened a credit line for supplying Sri Lanka with gasoline and they put 3.5 billion dollars on the line as credit for essential products, like medicine, food and fuel.
In this context, political tensions are also on the rise in Sri Lanka. Protests have been going on for weeks in the capital city of Colombo, with people asking for the resignation of their president. The protests have also gotten aggressive, to the point where the homes of certain ministers and politicians have been set on fire.
As the president of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, declared a state of emergency, in this way, he also gave the army and the police the freedom to use their power for arresting protesters and those who oppose the current regime. ABC News states that a constitutional amendment to diminish the power of the president is expected to be discussed at the Cabinet.