India sent a shipment of 40,000 tons of diesel as assistance to foreign-strapped Sri Lanka on Monday night. The development was confirmed by the Indian High Commission in Colombo in a tweet. The tweet read: “Powering Sri Lanka!!! A shipment of 40,000 MT of diesel supplied with Indian aid arrived in Colombo last night.
Earlier this week, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also appreciated India’s support during the tumultuous period. He took to Twitter and said, “I expressed our country’s gratitude for the support India has provided during this difficult time. I look forward to further strengthening the ties between our nations.
Earlier in April, India also provided medical supplies worth $700,000 to the island nation as part of its continued efforts to help Sri Lanka overcome its worst economic crisis. Humanitarian supplies include kerosene for Sri Lankan fishermen, 9,000 tons of rice, 200 tons of powdered milk and 24 tons of life-saving drugs.
India has provided around $3.5 billion in aid in the form of loan deferrals, credit lines for essential imports and credit swaps since January.
Meanwhile, the island nation has asked airlines to carry enough jet fuel for final trips home or refuel elsewhere. According to an Indian Oil Corporation official, there is an increase in refueling by international flights to and from Colombo at airports located in southern India.
Sri Lanka’s civil aviation director Rayhan Wanniappa told the news agency Reuters, “We have asked the airlines to carry the necessary fuel during their operations in Sri Lanka, because there is a shortage of aviation fuel and we have to manage the situation.” He added: “The airlines are bringing in some additional supplies, while we are also supplying from stock.”
(With contributions from the agency)