In response to the request for assistance made by the Government of Sri Lanka and as an expression of our solidarity, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced on May 19, 2016 that India would provide aid on emergency basis to help assist those affected by the floods and landslides in various parts of Sri Lanka. Pursuant to this commitment, India dispatched two ships of the Indian Navy from Kochi on the morning of May 20, 2016, carrying various relief supplies. The same day, an Indian Air Force C-17 transport aircraft was also sent with additional supplies.
The C-17 aircraft, carrying around 50 tonnes of relief material, landed at Katunayake airport. Its cargo included 700 tents, 1000 tarpaulin sheets, 10 electric generators, 100 emergency lamps and medication against epidemics for 10,000 people, apart from torches, rain coats, umbrellas, folding mattresses, water filters and water purification equipment. These had been identified as priority relief materials by Sri Lankan authorities.
In a simple ceremony today at Katunayake Airport, Shri Y. K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, handed over the relief materials to Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Disaster Management of Sri Lanka. Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force, Air Marshal Gagan Bulathsingha, Mr. S. S. Miyanawala, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and other senior officials of Sri Lankan Government and Air Force were also present on the occasion.
Separately, the two Indian Navy Ships (INS Sutlej and INS Sunayna) docked today at Colombo Port. Their cargo of over 30 tonnes was handed over by Shri Y. K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, to Hon. Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka. This included inflatable boats,diving equipment, medical supplies, drinking water, water purification tablets, rations and consumables.Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswara, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and senior officials from Sri Lanka Navy were also present on the occasion.
Sri Lanka occupies a special place in the hearts and minds of Indians, and India’s emergency relief assistance is a manifestation of our abiding friendship. India will continue to work closely with the Government of Sri Lanka to address longer term rehabilitation needs of the affected people as part of its development partnership with Sri Lanka.