Stalin thanks Jaishankar 'for accepting TN's request' to help SL
Chennai, May 2 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Monday thanked External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for accepting the state's offer to help the Sri Lankan people caught in a severe economic crisis.
Taking to Twitter, Stalin said: "A personal thanks to Hon'ble Dr. S. Jaishankar for accepting TN's request to help the people of Sri Lanka. 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."
On April 29, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a unanimous resolution urging the Central government to permit the state to send essential items, medicines to Sri Lanka on a humanitarian basis.
The resolution was moved by Stalin signalling the state government's changed stance.
Earlier, the DMK government in the state had asked the Centre's permission to send the essential items to only Sri Lankan Tamils.
Moving the resolution, Stalin said "we have to lend help" to the island nation which is currently undergoing the worst economic crisis.
Referring to his earlier decision to supply essential items to Sri Lankan Tamils, Stalin said Tamils in that island nation welcoming the move had said that the entire nation is suffering and the assistance should be provided as a whole and not only to the Tamils.
Stalin said the state government has decided to ship 40,000 tonne of rice (value Rs 80 crore), life saving drugs (Rs 28 crore) and 500 tonne milk powder (Rs 15 crore) to Sri Lanka.
As the state cannot send the items directly to Sri Lanka and has to be routed through the Central government and the Indian High Commission in Colombo and hence this resolution, Stalin said.
It is said that Jaishankar had asked the state government to coordinate with the Central government in the supply of relief material.
The state government's aid will supplement the BJP-led Centre's relief materials to the island nation.
Earlier, Stalin had requested the Centre to allow the state to ship the essential supplies including food grains, vegetables and medicines, from the Thoothukudi port to the Tamils living in Northern and Eastern Parts of Sri Lanka and Colombo, as well as those working in the plantations who are reeling under the severe crisis.