India on Saturday assured Sri Lanka that it will continue to support democracy, stability, and economic recovery in the country, which is at a crucial juncture, amid the unprecedented political crisis and economic turmoil.
The assurance was given to Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena by India's High Commissioner Gopal Baglay when he called on the Sri Lankan leader. The meeting took place a day after Speaker Abeywardena accepted the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
During the meeting, High Commissioner Baglay "appreciated Parliament's role in upholding democracy and Constitutional framework, especially at this crucial juncture," the Indian High Commission tweeted. "Conveyed that will continue to be supportive of democracy, stability and economic recovery in Sri Lanka," the mission wrote.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades, with a severe foreign exchange shortage hampering the import of essentials including food, fuel, and medicines. The economic crisis also sparked a political crisis in the country that Rajapaksa to flee the country and resign as president. The island nation off the tip of southeast India needs about USD 5 billion in the next six months to cover basic necessities for its 22 million people, who have been struggling with long queues, worsening shortages, and power cuts. India has been the principal source of foreign assistance to Sri Lanka this year.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that India is trying to help Sri Lanka “as appropriately as possible” to deal with the unprecedented crisis that the island nation is facing.