New Delhi: In the past 24 hours, India has sent a total of 76,000 tonnes of fuel to Sri Lanka. The total supply of fuel under Indian assistance now stands at more than 2,70,000 tonnes.
As Sri Lanka is battling a severe economic crisis, India on Wednesday provided fuel to Colombo to help the country meet some of its immediate needs and help stabilise its domestic economy.
In a tweet, @IndiainSL said: “ Indian credit line for fuel at work!!! One consignment each of 36,000 MT petrol and 40,000 MT diesel was delivered to #SriLanka in the last 24 hours. Total supply of various types of fuel under Indian assistance now stands at more than 270,000 MT.”
Sri Lanka is currently reeling under the worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948. The island nation has been plunged into political turmoil with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa under pressure to resign as protests escalate over an economic crisis.
The country is experiencing acute shortages of food, fuel and other essentials — along with record inflation and crippling power cuts — which have inflicted widespread misery in the most painful downturn since independence from Britain in 1948.
The President had called on opposition parties to help him form a national government and accept cabinet portfolios. But the opposition has rejected the offer and instead told the President to resign.
UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet noted in her recent report to the Human Rights Council in February, the drift towards militarization and the weakening of institutional checks and balances in Sri Lanka have affected the state’s ability to effectively tackle the economic crisis and ensure the realization of the economic, social and cultural rights of all citizens.
The High Commissioner had also previously voiced her concern over how the Government responds to criticism and dissent in ways that undermine civic space.
“We reiterate these concerns today,” said the UN official. “We urge the Government, political parties and civil society to engage in immediate, inclusive and meaningful dialogue to find a solution for the pressing economic and political challenges that Sri Lanka faces and to avoid further polarization of the situation”.
Spokesperson for OHCHR, Liz Throssell, said her office was “concerned that such measures are aimed at preventing or discouraging people from legitimately expressing their grievances through peaceful protests, and that they frustrate the exchange of views on matters of public interest”.