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‘Stand with people of Sri Lanka’: India as protests grip island nation

Amid the ongoing economic crisis and protests in Sri Lanka, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, said that India and Sri Lanka are closest neighbours and the two countries share deep civilizational bonds. Arindam Bagchi said that India stands with the people of Sri Lanka and they are following the the recent developments in the island nation.

“We continue to follow closely the recent developments in Sri Lanka. India stands with the people of Sri Lanka as they seek to realize their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means and values, established institutions and constitutional framework, “Arindam Bagchi said.

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Thousands of protestors stormed into the official residence of Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, demanding his resignation as the economic crisis spiralled. Moments before protesters stormed his official residence, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled from the scene. The protestors also set the private residence of Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on fire.

INDIA EXTENDED HELP TO SRI LANKA

The cash-strapped nation is struggling to make its end meet and pay for imports of such necessities and is already defaulting on its debt. The island nation is seeking monetary help from neighbouring India, China and also from the International Monetary Fund.

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“We are aware of the many challenges that Sri Lanka and its people have been facing, and we have stood with the Sri Lankan people as they have tried to overcome this difficult period,” the MEA spokesperson said.

India has extended support of over US$ 3.8 billion to Sri Lanka to help tide over the economic crisis.

“In pursuance of the central place that Sri Lanka occupies in our Neighbourhood First policy, India has extended this year itself an unprecedented support of over US$ 3.8 billion for ameliorating the serious economic situation in Island nation ,”Arindam Bagchi said.

President Rajapaksa has announced that he will step down on July 13 after protesters stormed his official residence and set the house of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s house on fire. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has also agreed to resign.

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