Indian official injured in crisis-hit Sri Lanka, High Commission urges citizens to make movements safely

Sri Lanka is witnessing a public unrest due to the unprecedented economic crisis followed by a political turmoil in the country.

Published: 20th July 2022 10:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th July 2022 10:17 AM   |  A+A-

Protestors carry an effigy of acting president and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe outside the president's office as they demand his resignation in Colombo. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

COLOMBO: A senior Indian government official posted in Sri Lanka sustained grievous injuries in an unprovoked assault, the Indian High Commission here said on Tuesday as it urged its nationals to remain aware of the latest developments in the island nation and plan their movements and activities accordingly.

Sri Lanka is witnessing a public unrest due to the unprecedented economic crisis followed by a political turmoil in the country.

Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday imposed an emergency ahead of the key election on Wednesday to pick a new president.

The Indian High Commission in a tweet said the relations between the people of India and Sri Lanka have always been cordial and friendly.

"In the current situation, #Indian nationals in #SriLanka are requested to remain aware of latest developments and accordingly plan their movements and activities. You may contact us when required," it said.

In another tweet, the High Commission said its officials in the morning met "Vivek Varma, an Indian national and Director of Indian Visa Centre, who sustained grievous injuries in an unprovoked assault last night near Colombo".

The matter has been brought to the attention of the Sri Lankan authorities, it said.

It is probably the first time that an Indian national has been attacked since anti-government protests erupted in Sri Lanka in March.

Amidst the economic and political turmoil in Sri Lanka, India has reiterated that it will continue to stand with the people of Sri Lanka as they seek to realise their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means and values as well as established institutions and a constitutional framework.

Wickremesinghe, who was sworn-in as the acting president on Friday after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives and then to Singapore from where he resigned in the face of public revolt against his government's mishandling of the country's economy, imposed the emergency as protests demanding his resignation continued in most parts of the country.

Wickremesinghe, who is contesting the presidential election, has defended imposing emergency, saying it was required in Sri Lanka in the interests of public security, the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community.

He asked the security forces not to allow violent anti-government protests ahead of the presidential election on Wednesday.

The Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs last week said that India looked forward to an early solution of the situation related to the government and its leadership in Sri Lanka through democratic means and values, established institutions and constitutional framework.

The Spokesperson added that India will support the people of Sri Lanka in all possible ways in their endeavor to find a way forward.

India responded with urgency to assist the people of Sri Lanka in overcoming their economic hardships and delivered assistance as well as support worth about USD 3.8 billion in 2022.



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