India said on Wednesday that it will continue to be supportive of the Sri Lankan people's quest for stability and economic recovery, through democratic means and values, established democratic institutions and constitutional framework.
The statement by the High Commission of India in Colombo comes hours after Sri Lankan Parliament elected seasoned politician Ranil Wickremesinghe as new President to succeed Gotabaya Rajapaksa who fled the country and resigned after a popular uprising against his government for mismanaging the economy.
"As a close friend and neighbour of Sri Lanka and a fellow democracy, we will continue to be supportive of the quest of the people of Sri Lanka for stability and economic recovery, through democratic means and values, established democratic institutions and constitutional framework,” the Indian mission said in a tweet.
The High Commission earlier reiterated that India supports the realisation of aspirations of the people of Sri Lanka in accordance with democratic means and values, established institutions as well as constitutional provisions, "and doesn’t interfere in internal affairs and democratic processes of another country".
Wickremesinghe, 73, was appointed as prime minister in May, nearly two years after his United National Party (UNP) was routed and failed to win a single seat in the general election held in August 2020.
Wickremesinghe, who is believed to be close to India and its leaders, was sworn-in as acting president on July 13 after President Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives and then to Singapore from where he resigned in the face of public revolt against his government's mishandling of the country's economy.
The new President will have a mandate to serve out the rest of Rajapaksa’s term, which ends in November 2024.
Wickremesinghe, who has been leading the crucial talks with the International Monetary Fund, last week said that negotiations were nearing conclusion, and discussions for assistance with foreign countries were also progressing.
The economic crisis also sparked a political crisis in the country after a popular uprising against the government.
The island nation 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.