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Humanitarian Gesture To Lanka Will Improve Cordiality: Stalin Thanks Centre

Responding to the Assembly resolution, Jaishankar stated that the island nation would accept inclusive relief on a government-to-government basis

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday thanked the BJP-led government at the Centre for permitting humanitarian aid to the crisis-hit Sri Lanka and said the move would improve cordiality between the two countries.

Expressing gratitude to the Centre for accepting the state's plea to dispatch relief material to the island nation, the Chief Minister said this humane gesture would be greatly welcomed by all.

"This would help to improve the warmth and cordiality between the nations," he said while personally thanking Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for accepting Tamil Nadu's request.

Posting a copy of Jaishankar's letter addressed to him on his Twitter account, the CM said, "Let the goodwill grow in all spheres."

On April 29, the Tamil Nadu Assembly adopted a resolution urging the Centre to positively consider the state government's request to immediately dispatch food and life-saving medicines to crisis-hit Sri Lanka.

Chief Minister M K Stalin who piloted the resolution unanimously passed by the House, including the opposition AIADMK and the BJP, said, "We can't see the development in Sri Lanka as the neighbouring country's internal issue. We need to extend humanitarian should be prompt, on time."

Also, recalling his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month on the issue, Stalin said he followed it up with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar but there has been no response from the Centre so far. "Hence, I have been constrained to move this resolution," he had said.

Responding to the Assembly resolution, Jaishankar stated that the island nation would accept inclusive relief on a government-to-government basis.

"The Foreign Secretary had spoken to Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary and highlighted on April 16, that government of Sri Lanka would be open to humanitarian support on a government-to-government basis," the Union Minister said in the letter dated May 1.

Jaishankar further said both the Lankan government and Tamil leaders there were of the view that humanitarian gestures at this time should be inclusive. "This may be reflected in the distribution of supplies. The matter could therefore be coordinated by our high commission, supplementing assistance already underway," he said in the letter posted by the Chief Minister on his Twitter account.

Jaishankar asked Stalin to direct the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary to coordinate with the government of India for the supply and distribution of humanitarian relief material to the Sri Lankan government.

"The relief material will be shared with the government of Sri Lanka to be distributed appropriately in the current circumstances," he said.