Colombo, June 9: Food and other necessities are being collected all across southern India to be sent to Sri Lanka to overcome the country’s worst economic crisis, a Sri Lankan diplomat said in remarks published on Thursday.
“The people of India are deeply concerned over the current situation in Sri Lanka and have come forward to help by way of donating humanitarian assistance such as, rice, sugar, wheat flour, edible oil, dhal and lifesaving medicines,” The Island newspaper quoted Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Chennai, as saying.
The diplomat told the Island that six batches of consignments were on the way while large consignments of goods have already been sent to Sri Lanka.
The new consignments were being collected at central centers in southern India: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Pondicherry.
Venkateshwaran said that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had assured his fullest cooperation to support Sri Lanka by providing humanitarian assistance at this critical juncture.
The Deputy High Commissioner said he was also holding discussions at present with some investors in India to venture into micro, small and medium industries in Sri Lanka.
?The purpose of venturing into micro industries is to assist the underprivileged people to start home-based micro enterprises in support of their living and upgrading the life standards. Once we achieve this purpose, it will positively contribute to uplift the national economy of the country,? he said.
He said he was also negotiating with some top traders in India to exchange products required by both countries on a barter system to avoid exchange of currency in these transactions.
He said such trade transactions will not only prove a solution to the prevailing foreign currency problem in Sri Lanka but also create an export opportunity for Sri Lankan products.
India has been providing steady assistance ever since Sri Lanka got enveloped in its worst economic crisis, triggering widespread shortages of even essential commodities like food, fuel and medicines.