External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told the all-party meeting that the situation in Sri Lanka is unprecedented and India is worried about it, but drawing comparisons is uninformed. Briefing reporters after the all-party meeting, which was attended by representatives of 28 political parties, the minister said if there is instability in any neighbouring country or any violence, “that is a matter of deep concern to us”.
An all-party meeting on the situation in Sri Lanka was held on Tuesday, and senior leaders from various political parties attended. S Jaishankar briefed the MPs on the situation in Sri Lanka, which is facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades. National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, DMK’s TR Baalu, MDMK’s Vaiko, and Communist Party of India’s Binoy Viswam were among the MPs attending the meeting.
The government called the meeting to address the concerns of several political parties as they are worried about the Sri Lankan crisis. In his recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and EAM Jaishankar, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin expressed his concern about the situation in Lanka and asked for permission to send relief supplies to the island nation. At the all-party meeting on Sunday, both DMK and AIADMK leaders had urged the Centre to intervene in the crisis to help the neighbouring country resolve its crisis. India has expeditiously finalised and delivered assistance as well as support worth about US$ 3.8 billion to help Sri Lanka deal with the economic crisis. This is in the form of currency swaps and deferment of repayment of Sri Lanka’s liabilities to the Reserve Bank of India under the Asian Clearing Union mechanism.
The minister said that the big lessons of Sri Lanka are to be drawn on fiscal prudence and good governance, and under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “we have both in very ample measure”. Jaishankar said that fishermen’s issues also came up during the meeting. “We have long-standing issues there.