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Centre to share Tamil Nadu’s relief materials with Sri Lanka

Jaishankar conveyed the above to the Tamil Nadu government in a letter written to Chief Minister M K Stalin
Last Updated : 01 May 2022, 17:09 IST
Last Updated : 01 May 2022, 17:09 IST
Last Updated : 01 May 2022, 17:09 IST
Last Updated : 01 May 2022, 17:09 IST

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said the relief materials to be supplied by the Tamil Nadu government will be shared with Sri Lanka to be “distributed appropriately” in the current circumstances, two days after the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a resolution seeking permission in this regard.

Jaishankar conveyed the above to the Tamil Nadu government in a letter written to Chief Minister M K Stalin, who had made the demand to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 31 and to him in a letter on April 13. The minister told Stalin that the Foreign Secretary told Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary that Sri Lanka will accept “inclusive relief” on Government-to-Government basis as the initial proposal by Tamil Nadu was only for Tamils in the island nation.

“Subsequently, we received a communication from the Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, Public (SC) Department, dated 21 April 2022, addressed to the Secretary to the Government of India, stating that the Ministry's suggestion is accepted and further course of action to be pursued may be informed,” the minister said.

The MEA has also asked the Tamil Nadu government to share details of the nodal point as well as details of the consignment, transport etc. This would enable the HCI in Colombo to make the necessary arrangements for the collection and handing over of relief material to Sri Lanka, Jaishankar said.

“In light of the foregoing, you may wish to direct the Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu to coordinate with the Government of India for the supply and distribution of humanitarian relief material to the Sri Lankan Government. The relief material will be shared with GoSL to be distributed appropriately in the current circumstances,” the minister told the Chief Minister.

The letter comes two days after the Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously passed a resolution seeking permission to send food and other essential items, including life-saving medicines, to the people of Sri Lanka, who are reeling under the worst-ever economic crisis.

The state government plans to send 40,000 tonnes of rice worth Rs 80 crore, 137 types of life-saving medicines valued at Rs 28 crore, and 500 tonnes of milk powder costing Rs 15 crore to the neighbouring country. The total help will cost the government Rs 123 crore.

After Stalin’s request to Modi last month, Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka, including the influential Tamil National Alliance (TNA), earlier this month appealed to Stalin not to limit the assistance from the state to Tamils but to all citizens of the island nation arguing that “everyone is suffering.”

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Published 01 May 2022, 17:08 IST

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