New Delhi continues to be supportive of Sri Lanka in “all possible ways” in order to ensure its recovery and growth, the the Indian High Commission in Colombo said on Tuesday.
The statement in response to a Reuters report published on September 15 that said that India will not provide any more financial support to the island country over and above the $4 billion (Rs 31,883.40 crore) that it has already given this year.
Over the last few months, Sri Lanka has been trying to recover from its biggest economic crisis since its independence in 1948. The economic meltdown led to the country defaulting on its $51-billion (over Rs 4 lakh crore) foreign debt in April.
On Tuesday, the Indian High Commission said that New Delhi has extended “unprecedented bilateral assistance” to the neighbouring country.
“We continue to be supportive of Sri Lanka in all possible ways, in particular by promoting long-term investments from India in key economic sectors in Sri Lanka for its early economic recovery and growth,” the High Commission said. “In addition our bilateral development cooperation projects in Sri Lanka, which cumulatively total about US$ 3.5 billion are ongoing.”
Sri Lankan citizens have been dealing with shortages of essential items, including fuel, food and medicines, for several months. This was after its foreign exchange reserves dropped to record lows and stalled imports.
The economic crisis triggered a wave of protests across the country. Demonstrators stormed official buildings, forcing Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee from the country and resign from his post in July.
Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed as the new president on July 21 and Dinesh Gunawardena was sworn in as the prime minister a day later.