In a country where there are long queues at petrol pumps, people are jumping on each other for food packets, children are not able to take the exam because the government does not have paper and the public’s anger is due to this. It is important that the Prime Minister has to take refuge in a naval base in his own country. The name of this country is – Sri Lanka.
Reasons behind Sri Lanka’s dire economic crisis
The reason for the severe economic crisis of Sri Lanka is the political decisions of the government there. The Rajapaksa family, who have been in power for a long time in Sri Lanka, made frequent decisions that brought Sri Lanka’s economy into the abyss to stay in power. The hunger for rapid infrastructural development led the Sri Lankan government to borrow heavily from China. Gradually Sri Lanka got caught in the policy of debt trap of China. Eventually when Sri Lanka could not repay this debt, it was forced to give its important strategic port Hambantota to China.
The immediate cause of the recent crisis is the reduction of tax rates under populist policies by the Sri Lankan government. Along with this, by banning chemical fertilizers, the use of organic fertilizers in its place has also brought food crisis there.
Financial aid given by India to Sri Lanka
India has given assistance of $ 3.5 billion to Sri Lanka so far. Along with this, Tamil Nadu has also given food assistance of 4500 metric tonnes by Tamil Nadu. This brought relief to many poor people there. This humanitarian approach of the Government of India has also helped in increasing India’s soft power in Sri Lanka.
Historical-Cultural Relations of India-Sri Lanka
India is the nearest neighbor of Sri Lanka. India has not only historical-cultural but also mythological ties with Sri Lanka. Ashoka the great had sent his son Mahendra and daughter Sanghamitra to Sri Lanka for the propagation of Buddhism. These relations with Sri Lanka continued even during the Chola period. People-to-people communication is also at a very close level between India and Sri Lanka.
However, India does not have as good relations with today’s Sri Lanka as it was in ancient times. The reason for this is that the Sri Lankan government today often plays the China card for its own benefit so that it can pursue its interests with India. Yes! It is necessary that recently this policy of Sri Lanka has changed because China has now turned a blind eye to Sri Lanka to repay its debt. Apart from this, due to this wonderful economic and humanitarian help sent by India in this economic crisis of Sri Lanka, the respect for India has increased in the hearts of the people there.
India now needs to take a step forward in terms of help
Today there is not only poverty in Sri Lanka but there is also unemployment there. To bring Sri Lanka out of such situations, there is a need to start an employment scheme like MNREGA. India can logically help Sri Lanka in this work. India can not only provide technical assistance to Sri Lanka, but India can give a little more financial assistance to Sri Lanka. With this, India can help Sri Lanka in providing direct loans to the farmers there. This will further aggravate the food crisis in Sri Lanka. Apart from this, India can help Sri Lanka in starting the public distribution system there as well.