Updated: April 29, 2022 2:27:24 pm
The Tamil Nadu Assembly Friday unanimously passed a resolution urging the Centre to permit the state government to send essential commodities including rice, pulses, dairy products and medicines to Sri Lanka amidst the ongoing economic crisis. The resolution was moved by Chief Minister MK Stalin.
Speaking in the assembly, Stalin said, “Tamil Nadu would like to help by sending 40,000 tons of rice, 137 types of life-saving drugs and 500 tonnes of milk powder.”
The resolution moved by him stated “this House insists the Union government to accede to Tamil Nadu government’s request and make arrangements and give due permission to send food and essential items,” to the affected Lankan citizens.
“We can’t see the development in Sri Lanka as the neighbouring country’s internal issue. We need to extend aid humanitarian aid…help should be prompt, on time,” the Chief Minister said moving the resolution.
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“I urge all parties to extend their support to the resolution,” Stalin added.
Listing the issues faced by the Sri Lankans, Stalin said, “The struggles faced by our neighbours in Sri Lanka deeply pains me. People are standing in queues for long hours to get petrol and diesel. People are unable to buy gas cylinders and hence cooking has become difficult for them. We are also reading reports of people who are not able to buy medicines, and basic essentials for the daily living.”
“We are in a position to provide these. The state government cannot supply them directly. It has to be done with the approval of the Union government and disbursed through the Indian embassy in Sri Lanka. I had placed a request (on the subject) with the Government of India soon after the crisis in Sri Lanka,” Stalin said.
All parties, including the BJP supported the resolution moved by the chief minister.
“PM Modi has given several aid & benefits to Sri Lanka. It’s only through MEA that things can be sent to SL. We welcome the resolution brought by CM. BJP MLAs are ready to donate our one month salary toward Sri Lanka crisis,” BJP MLA Nainar Nagenthiran said in the assembly.
On a three-day visit to Delhi in late March, M K Stalin had met PM Narendra Modi and urged the Centre to allow the state government to provide humanitarian aid to Sri Lankan Tamils. He said many of them are fleeing Lanka and coming to the state through the sea route in the wake of the economic crisis in the island-nation. So far, the Government of India has not responded to the state government in this regard.
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