People in Sri Lanka express gratitude to India for helping in need of hour

Colombo [Sri Lanka], April 9 (ANI): As India continues to provide much-needed fuel in Colombo, people in Sri Lanka continue to express gratitude to its neighbouring country for helping in need of the hour.

“This shipment was loaded on April 1 and arrived here on April 6 for discharging the entire cargo in Colombo which is the maximum capacity of the port. The cargo quantity was about 40,000 MT,” Captain Nishant Mehta, of Vessel Motor Tanker Merapi, told ANI.

“As of now, we (India) have delivered two shipments carrying approx 80,000 MT of fuel. The diesel is being used in power plants to supply electricity to Colombo city which is having long hours of power cuts and also for vehicles at petrol pump,” he added.

Captain Mehta said all the people that his team meets in Colombo express their deep gratitude to India for delivering cargo in the “need of the hour.” “Even the famous cricketers are thinking India,” he added.

The diesel that India is supplying is being used in power plants in Colombo, he added.

India supplied over 2,70,000 MT of fuel to Sri Lanka so far to help ease the power crisis in the island country which is witnessing acute power cuts. Several consignments are being sent as part of the US 500 million oil line of credit (LoC) extended by India to Sri Lanka.

This shipment is being sent to Colombo, amid the continued protest against the Sri Lanka government. “This government is really corrupt. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country but this govt is making it dirty. I am fighting for my children’s future,” said one of the protesters.

Amid one of the worst economic crises in the country and a national emergency in force, the Sri Lankan Parliament is scheduled to convene on April 19. This will be the second convening of the Parliament following the imposition of a national emergency by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on April 1, after the first session was convened on April 5.

UN human rights experts have urged the Sri Lankan Government to guarantee the fundamental rights of peaceful assembly and of expression during peaceful protests, amid the country’s severe economic crisis.

“We are gravely concerned by the recent proclamation of a state of emergency as well as the order that blocked access to social media platforms,” the experts said in a statement issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Rights experts said these measures seem aimed at discouraging or preventing peaceful protests in the wake of the worsening economic crisis and the lack of access to fuel, electricity, medicines and essential food items.

“We condemn the excessive use of teargas and water cannon to disperse protesters, as well as the recent block of social media platforms. We urge the Sri Lankan Government to allow students, human rights defenders and others to protest in a peaceful manner, and to freely share their political views and express their discontent, both online and offline,” they added. (ANI)


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