Centre accepts Tamil Nadu’s request to send aid to Sri Lanka; CM Stalin thanks EAM Jaishankar

EAM S. Jaishankar spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary and highlighted that the Sri Lankan Government would be open to humanitarian support on a Government-to-Government basis

Updated - May 02, 2022 04:35 pm IST

Published - May 02, 2022 04:24 pm IST - Chennai

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin in Chennai.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin in Chennai. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Union Government has accepted the Tamil Nadu Government’s proposal to send aid to people of Sri Lanka, who have been severely affected by the economic crisis.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Monday thanked Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for accepting the State Government’s request.

In a social media post, Mr. Stalin said, “A personal thanks to Hon’ble @DrSJaishankar for accepting TN’s request to help the people of SL. Am sure that this humane gesture will be greatly welcomed by all and help to improve the warmth and cordiality between nations. Let the goodwill grow in all spheres.”

As for the State Government’s earlier proposal for sending humanitarian assistance to Tamil communities in Sri Lanka, Mr. Jaishankar said [HCI] in Colombo and it has been ascertained that the GoSL will accept inclusive relief on Government-to-Government basis.”

The Foreign Secretary had spoken to Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary and highlighted on April 16 that the Sri Lankan Government would be open to humanitarian support on a Government-to-Government basis. Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka were public of the view that such humanitarian gestures at a time like this needed to be inclusive.

“This may be reflected in the distribution of supplies. The matter could, therefore, be coordinated by our High Commission, supplementing assistance already underway. Ministry of External Affairs and our High Commission in Sri Lanka will be happy to facilitate assistance on lines proposed,” the Union Minister said.

On April 21, the Union Government received a communication from the Government of Tamil Nadu that the Ministry’s suggestion was accepted and further course of action to be pursued may be informed. The Indian diplomatic mission in Colombo was consulted.

On April 29, a communication was sent to Tamil Nadu authorities reiterating the above basis of the humanitarian relief, and requesting for details of the nodal point from GoTN as well as details of the consignment, transport etc. It would enable the HCI in Colombo to make the necessary arrangements for collection and handing over of relief material to the GoSL.

Therefore Mr. Jaishankar in his letter dated May 1 suggested the Chief Minister may direct the State Chief Secretary, 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,” he said.

A copy of the letter was shared by Mr. Stalin on social media. The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly had on April 29 unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Union Government to positively consider the request of the Tamil Nadu Government to send aid from Tamil Nadu to people of Sri Lanka.

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