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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar chaired a consultative committee meeting on the situation in Sri Lanka on Saturday and said there was “unanimous support” on the need to stand with the neighbouring country in this difficult time.

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He also posted pictures on Twitter with MPs who attended the meeting of the Consultative Committee on External Affairs. Ministers of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, Meenakshi Lekhi and Rajkumar Ranjan Singh also attended the meeting.

“Chaired a Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting on the situation in Sri Lanka. A good discussion held in a positive atmosphere on various issues and India’s role” Jaishankar tweeted.

“Unanimous support on the need to stand with our neighbour in this difficult time,” he said.

Sources said in the wake of the economic crisis, the refugee issue was also discussed. The committee was informed that the government is keeping a close watch on the situation and so far, only a few refugees have arrived in the country from Sri Lanka after the crisis unfolded in the island nation.

During the meeting, it was also conveyed that India gives financial credit to other nations on terms that do not put these countries in trouble in the future.

Opposition leaders such as Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (DMK) Tiruchi Siva, among others, attended the meeting.

Taking to Twitter, Chaturvedi said the meeting was briefed by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on the situation in Sri Lanka.

“All of us agreed that at the time of crisis we should stand firmly with Sri Lanka and support their recovery,” she said.

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Sujeet Kumar and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rajdeep Roy and G V L Narasimha Rao also attended the meeting.

Sri Lanka has been facing an economic crisis, which has led to an acute shortage of essential items like food, medicines, cooking gas and fuel across the island nation.

The nearly-bankrupt country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, had announced in April that it was suspending nearly USD 7 billion foreign debt repayment due for the year out of about USD 25 billion due through 2026. Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt stands at USD 51 billion.

The Indian credit lines since January this year have provided a lifeline to the neighbouring country amid a growing public dissent over the worsening economic conditions.

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