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‘Blatantly false and completely baseless’: India denies reports of sending troops to economic crisis-hit Sri Lanka

Source : Firstpost

‘Blatantly false and completely baseless’: India denies reports of sending troops to economic crisis-hit Sri Lanka
Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka (File Photo)



India on Saturday “strongly” denied reports that it is sending troops to economic crisis-hit Sri Lanka. 

Taking to Twitter, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka called the reports in a section of the media “blatantly false and completely baseless.”

“We condemn such irresponsible reporting and expect the concerned to desist from spreading rumours,” the Indian High Commission added. 

India had stationed its peacekeeping troops in the country from 1987 to 1990. This was during the Sri Lankan Civil War (1983-2009).

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka on Saturday imposed a 36-hour curfew. The order came a day after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa invoked a state of emergency following a violent attempt to storm his house, saying it was for the “protection of public order”. The country has deployed troops to quell protests against the government.

India sends aid to Sri Lanka

India has been dispatching aid to neighbouring Sri Lanka. On Saturday, the island nation received 40,000 MT of fuel from the Indian Oil Corporation.

This came a day after Indian Oil Corporation PLC supplied 6,000 MT of fuel to the Ceylon Electricity Board.

Sri Lanka on Thursday said it was shutting off its street lights as the crisis triggered 13-hour a day power cuts.

India has also dispatched 40,000 tonnes of rice to the country. Earlier, Sri Lanka secured a credit line from India, Reuters reported.

The economic crisis

The government has been unable to pay for fuel imports due to a shortage of foreign exchange reserves.

The South Asian nation of 22 million is facing severe shortages of essentials, sharp price rises, and crippling power cuts in its most painful downturn since independence from Britain in 1948.

The coronavirus pandemic torpedoed tourism and remittances, both vital to the economy, and authorities imposed a broad import ban in an attempt to save foreign currency.

Many economists also say the crisis has been exacerbated by government mismanagement, years of accumulated borrowing, and ill-advised tax cuts.

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