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‘India has been an elder brother to Sri Lanka’: Former SL cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga lauds PM Modi for assistance amid economic crisis

Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis in its history, with inflation reaching a record high of 17.5% in February 2022, besides acute shortages of food, fuel, power, and gas among other things.

As India extended help to Sri Lanka amidst the biggest economic crisis since its independence, former cricketer and Sri Lankan politician Arjuna Ranatunga thanked PM Modi and India for supporting Sri Lanka in every possible way in the hour of its need. Arjuna Ranatunga said India has been an elder brother to Sri Lanka.

Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ranatunga said, “PM Modi was very generous to give the grant to start Jaffna International Airport. India has been an elder brother to us… They’re looking at our needs like petrol & medicines… India has been helping us in a big way.”

He further added, “India has been like an elder brother to us. I am glad that they are monitoring rather than just giving money to Sri Lanka. They are looking at our needs like petrol and medicine. I am sure that those are the things we will lack in the next couple of months. I think that is why India might have come out and India has been helping us in a big way.”

Talking about his other major concerns for his country, Arjuna Ranatunga said, “My major worry is that I don’t want to see a bloodbath. I am very very scared. I don’t want people to start another war which we suffered for thirty years. Some of the politicians who are in the government are trying to show that this is created by the Tamils or the Muslims. By doing that they are trying to divide this country again. That is my major worry.”

Arjuna Ranatunga further said, “General Public is only asking for basic things in protests like milk powder, gas, rice, petrol. I don’t agree with the violence happening. The country has gone into a major crisis in the last 2 years, they can give excuses like COVID but the world went through it.”

Ranatunga slams the Rajapaksa government for the current predicament of Sri Lanka

Criticizing the current government in Sri Lanka, Arjuna Ranatunga said, “This govt changed the entire constitution for their own benefit. Unfortunately, these people didn’t handle COVID properly and were cocky & overconfident. If President thinks he can’t handle it, he can step down. We’re begging for money around the world. Luckily there are countries helping us out, mainly India.”

It is notable that the economic crisis in Sri Lanka has forced the country to give up on its primary needs including healthcare. India has extended a very firm helping hand to its neighbour, assisting it to recover from the current economic crisis.

The dire economic crisis that is engulfing Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is faced with the worst economic crisis in its history, with inflation reaching a record high of 17.5% in February 2022. The residents of the island nation are struggling with an acute shortage of food, and cooking gas. Power cuts are frequent and people are seen standing in long queues in the National Capital for buying diesel fuel.

The government, headed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has been seeking credit lines from countries such as India, China and even Bangladesh for purchasing milk powder and diesel. The situation is so grim that the central bank is forced to buy oil from Iran by bartering tea leaves.

Schools in the western province of Sri Lanka were forced to postpone the exams of their students because the country had run out of printing paper. Due to a shortage of US dollars, it had become impossible to finance the imports. Electricity power cuts have stretched up to 14-16 hours a day, making it impossible for factories to churn out products and remain profitable.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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