Govt to Brief Parliament Floor Leaders of Political Parties on Sri Lanka Situation

The ministries of External Affairs and Finance will brief the floor leaders of various political parties in Parliament on the Sri Lanka situation on Tuesday, officials said. Citing an office memorandum, the officials said the briefing by the two ministries has been scheduled for the evening of July 19, the second day of the monsoon session of Parliament.

The briefing on the present situation in Sri Lanka will be attended by the floor leaders of various political parties, the officials added. The monsoon session will begin on July 28 and is scheduled to continue till August 12.

Earlier in the day, India assured Sri Lanka that it will continue to support democracy, stability and economic recovery in the country, which is at a crucial juncture, amid the unprecedented political crisis and economic turmoil. The assurance was given to Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena by India’s High Commissioner Gopal Baglay when he called on the Sri Lankan leader.

The meeting took place a day after Speaker Abeywardena accepted the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades, with a severe foreign exchange shortage hampering the import of essentials including food, fuel and medicines.

The economic crisis also sparked a political crisis in the country after a popular uprising against the government forced Rajapaksa to flee the country and resign as president. Sri Lankan lawmakers met on Saturday to begin the process of choosing a new leader to replace Rajapaksa, who is now in Singapore.

The island nation off the tip of southeast India needs about USD 5 billion in the next six months to cover basic necessities for its 22 million people, who have been struggling with long queues, worsening shortages and power cuts. India has been the principal source of foreign assistance to Sri Lanka this year.

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