Don't see refugees arising out of crisis, India's High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay

New Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Apr 08, 2022, 03:01 PM IST
main img
In this picture, India's High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay can be seen Photograph:(WION)

Story highlights

Amid the crisis, since January, India has provided $2.4 billion in financial assistance to Sri Lanka

Amid the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, Indian High commissioner to the country Gopal Baglay has said he doesn't see "a situation of refugees or exodus".

The country has seen economic turmoil that has led to political instability with the cabinet resigning last weekend.

India and Maldives are the closest neighbours of the Indian Ocean island country.

Addressing a group of journalists virtually, HC Baglay explained, "there are few reports of few persons maybe few families reaching our eastern coast" but "fact of the matter is that there are families ties on both sides. People have relatives and families, like some cases mother and father are there and children living here, or vice versa, marriage ties or other relations like people coming to study here or going to study there . It is not surprising to see that people do seek comfort in such ties.".

Amid the crisis, since January, India has provided $2.4 billion in financial assistance to Sri Lanka. This included a credit swap of US$ 400 million,  deferment of an Asian Clearing Union payment of over $515 million, and two lines of credits-- $1 billion for food, and $500 million for fuel.

The High Commissioner highlighted that "India's model of development is very demand-driven..based on the requirement of recipient country".

The first consignment of Rice from India is expected to reach Sri Lanka this weekend. First-order is 40,000 MT of rice, and the consignment is under the $1 billion line of credit signed last month in Delhi.

The High commissioner said, "India has come forward with humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka. It is India's closest maritime neighbour" and Delhi's ties with "Sri Lanka are the confluence of thee factors: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, doctrine of Sagar and Neighbourhood First"

In the almost 20 minute long presser, the envoy also dismissed social media reports of the Indian army being sent to the country terming it "baseless".

Asked about some countries being responsible for current situation in the Indian Ocean Island country, Baglay said,"Can't comment on Sri Lanka's ties with other countries..Sri Lanka has to see how ties with countries impact them" even as he pointed to New Delhi's positive role. China-led debt crisis in Sri Lanka has been grabbing headlines for months now.