India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will brief the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on External Affairs on June 18 over the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka, Indian media reported.
Apart from Jaishankar, India’s Foreign Secretary and other MEA officers will be present at the meeting at the ministry office at 11 am.
During the meeting, the Indian government is likely to brief the members of Parliament on the economic crisis and the country’s neighbourhood policy and how and what kind of aid has been provided by New Delhi to Colombo.
The members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee include Congress Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, DMK Rajya Sabha MP Tiruchi Siva, and BJP MP from Silchar Dr Rajdeep Roy. Members of the Parliament including from Tamil Nadu are expected to ask the government about the impact that will have on the subcontinent.
Tamil Nadu government has also sought help from the Centre to help out Sri Lanka in this crisis and has also sent consignments of medicines and other humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka. India is becoming a stronger and more mutually beneficial partner to Sri Lanka. Apart from assistance during the pandemic and fertilizer chaos, India is also donating basic products to island nations.
On June 3, Indian High Commissioner to Colombo Gopal Baglay handed over a total of 3.3 tons of essential medical supplies to the 1990 Suwaseriya Ambulance Service. Baglay said that Jaishankar was apprised of the looming shortage of medical supplies faced by the Foundation during his visit to the Suwaseriya Headquarters in Colombo in March 2022.
Earlier on May 27, Acting High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka Vinod K Jacob handed over a consignment of over 25 tons of medical supplies to Minister of Health, Keheliya Rambukwella in Colombo. Taking to Twitter, the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka said that the consignment is valued at close to Rs 260 million.
These humanitarian supplies are in continuation of the Government of India’s ongoing support to the people of Sri Lanka in multiple forms such as financial assistance, forex support, material supply and many more. These efforts prove that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Neighborhood First’ policy which places people-to-people engagement is still active, the report said.