The Foreign Ministry recently reiterated India’s stance of continued support to Sri Lanka amid the economic crisis in the island nation.
Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Chandrashekar SrinivasanNew Delhi
Sri Lankan Energy and Power Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said on Saturday the government had asked several countries to send fuel as the island nation grapples with political unrest and massive protests caused by its worst economic crisis. India, he added, is the only country that has so far provided Sri Lanka with a line of credit to buy essential items like fuel.
“We have made requests (for fuel) to different countries. So any country that comes to help us…we appreciate it. At present, the Indian government is the only country that has provided us with a fuel line. credit,” the minister said. was quoted by the ANI news agency.
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Russia – one of the world’s biggest oil producers and exporters – is among the countries Sri Lanka has approached for fuel aid, Wijesekera said. “First meetings have taken place in Russia. We have shared our requirements and are working on them. We are waiting to find out what type of installation will be hosted in Sri Lanka,” he added.
India has helped Sri Lanka on several occasions since the crisis erupted and has provided over $3 billion in fuel, food, medicine and other essentials. This week, the Foreign Office underscored India’s stance of continued support for its neighbour.
Earlier today, Wijesekerahe introduced a “national fuel pass” – a rationing system.
It will guarantee the allocation of a fuel quota on a weekly basis. A QR code will be provided to each National Identity Card (NIC) holder once the vehicle and other details have been verified.
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People with vehicles will get fuel based on the last digit of their registration number, while tourists and foreigners will get priority in the capital Colombo.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as interim president on Friday after the departure of Gotabaya Rajapaksa – who fled first to the Maldives and then to Singapore. His letter of resignation was read today in Parliament. In it, he said he had taken “all possible measures to deal with the crisis, including calling on parliamentarians to form a multi-party or unity government”.
Wickremesinghe will remain acting president until a successor is elected on Wednesday.