On Sri Lanka...BJP has a gentle reminder for DMK
Chenai, May 01: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a resolution urging the Centre to permit the state government to send essential commodities to Sri Lanka amid the ongoing economic crisis in the island nation. The resolution was moved by Chief Minister MK Stalin.
Welcoming the resolution brought by CM, Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai said,''I want to remind the Chief Minister that some of the recent actions of the Tamil Nadu government, especially during 'Operation Ganga', were only aimed at scoring political mileage during an ongoing international Conflict. We are only afraid that this resolution shouldn't turn out to be one such exercise. However, it is noteworthy that during "Operation Ganga", our Chief Minister ensured that every Indian awaiting rescue returned to our Homeland.''
Annamalai reminded that in 2009, when the Civil War in Sri Lanka was at its peak, the UPA Government in the Centre and the DMK Government in the State watched a grave humanitarian crisis unfold. Despite being in power and a position of command, they put no effort into rescuing the Tamil people from the war zone.
''Our concern is that this resolution passed yesterday should not be another record 2 hours Fast type situation orchestrated to create a mirage that the DMK worked hard for the ceasefire during the Civil War,''the BJP State president said.
''It was rather unfortunate that the resolution passed in the Tamil Nadu Assembly did not have the information about what our country has already provided to Sri Lanka and that in providing. So, we take this opportunity to enlighten the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu about the ongoing humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka with an assurance that the people of Sri Lanka are being provided with everything that the country had asked for,'' Annamalai added.
Meanwhile, BJP listed down all the help that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured to Sri Lanka during economic crisis
- Earlier in January this year, India had provided financial assistance to Sri Lanka that included a currency swap of US$ 400 million and deferment of Asian Clearing Union payments of US$ 515 million, and again of US$ 498.9 Million. In cumulative terms, Indian support to the people of Sri Lanka in the first quarter of 2022 is in the range of USD 3 Billion, even as China keeps Sri Lanka guessing over loans and credit lines.
- Export-Import Bank of India and the Government of Sri Lanka signed a US$ 500 million Line of Credit Agreement to purchase petroleum products on 2 February 2022. Under this, 10 consignments of fuel totalling 4 lakh tonnes have been supplied so far.
- In addition, around 40,000 tonnes of rice have been supplied under the recently extended $1 billion credit facility. This additional $1 billion will help the country shore up the shrinking economy.
- Ahead of the Sinhala and Tamil new year, India shipped 11,000 MT of rice to help the people of Sri Lanka celebrate one of their biggest festivals.
- In February, $500 billion was given to Sri Lanka by India as a short-term loan to help it purchase petroleum products through the ministry of energy and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation on behalf of the government of Sri Lanka.
- In November 2021, India had given 100 tonnes of nano nitrogen liquid fertilisers to Sri Lanka as their government stopped the import of chemical fertilisers.
- On April 10, India sent vegetables and daily ration items to Colombo to aid the nation's people who are regularly battling to procure essential items like food and medicine amid soaring inflation rates. It has also sent ships with sugar, rice and wheat -- items it has a surplus of.
- And, on 29th April 2022, India delivered over 760 kgs of 107 types of critical lifesaving medicines. The shipment was received by the Health Minister of Sri Lanka, Channa Jayasumana.
Annamalai claimed the BJP-led government at the Centre, several individuals & private companies have come forward to help the island nation sail through this current economic crisis.
The Central Government had followed the "Neighbourhood First policy" to cement bonds with its neighbours. It is ready to walk that extra mile to help Sri Lanka out of the current crisis, well before the resolution in the Tamil Nadu assembly was passed.
''In cumulative terms, Indian support to the people of Sri Lanka in the first quarter of 2022 is in the range of USD 3 Billion, even as China keeps Sri Lanka guessing over loans and credit lines,'' BJP said.
"We're hopeful that Tamil Nadu Govt will now hand over the aid package as in the resolution passed in TN Assembly on behalf of the people of TN to MEA to ensure smooth passage to Sri Lanka w/o insisting on delivering it directly politicising standard protocols," Annamalai said in a statement.