Colombo [Sri Lanka]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated the newly elected Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe for his election and assured full support to the people of Sri Lanka.
“I extend my congratulations to you on your election as the 8th President of Sri Lanka. You have assumed the high office at a critical time for Sri Lanka. I hope your tenure will nurture economic stabilization as well as fulfil the aspirations of all citizens of Sri Lanka,” he wrote in a letter to Wickremesinghe.
In the congratulatory letter, PM reiterated that India will continue to be supportive of the quest of the people of Sri Lanka for stability and economic recovery, through established democratic means, institutions and constitutional framework.
“Conveyed (PM Modi) that he looked forward to working closely with H.E @RW_UNP for the mutual benefit of people and strengthening the age-old, close and friendly relations between #India and #SriLanka,” the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka tweeted.
The Prime Minister said he looks forward to working closely with Wickremesinghe for the mutual benefit of both countries. “I look forward to working closely with you for the mutual benefit of our people as also for further strengthening the age-old, close and friendly relations between our two countries,” he said.
India has been at forefront of extending economic assistance to Sri Lanka as they faced one of the worst economic crises since their independence. India’s unprecedented economic, financial and humanitarian assistance to the people of Sri Lanka stands at over USD 3.5 billion in 2022.
In addition to the three credit lines to the tune of more than USD 1.5 billion and forex support of around USD 2 billion, assistance from the Government and people of India has taken the form of supply of medicines to several health-related establishments in various parts of Sri Lanka, distribution of kerosene among the fishermen of Sri Lanka, handing over of dry rations to needy sections etc.
Sri Lanka has experienced an escalating economic crisis and the government has defaulted on its foreign loans. The United Nations warned that 5.7 million people “require immediate humanitarian assistance.”
With many Sri Lankans experiencing extreme shortages of essentials including food and fuel, peaceful protests began in March. The protests led then-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign on May 9, and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to flee the country on July 13 and resign the following day.
Ranil Wickremesinghe became acting President and parliament elected him as the new president on July 20 with the support of the Rajapaksas’ political party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna. (ANI)