Mon, 03 Oct 2022

Colombo [Sri Lanka], August 8 (ANI): The newly-appointed brand ambassador for tourism promotions in Sri Lanka and ex-cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya met with the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Gopal Baglay on Monday.

According to the official Twitter handle of the High Commission of India, the meeting focused on strengthening ties between both India and Sri Lanka and promoting tourism as an instrument for economic recovery.

"SriLanka's newly-appointed tourism brand Ambassador, cricket legend @Sanath07 met High Commissioner today. The meeting focused on strengthening ties between the people of India and Sri Lanka and promoting tourism as an instrument for economic recovery," India in Sri Lanka tweeted.

Former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya has been named as the brand ambassador for tourism promotions in Sri Lanka.

In a tweet on August 5, the former cricketer had accepted an honorary post as tourism ambassador and said that more than three million Sri Lankans' livelihood depends on tourism.

"Since more than 3 million Sri Lankans livelihood depends on tourismIt's probably the fastest way we can come out of the economic quagmire we are in I accepted an honorary post as tourism ambassador. I invite all Sri Lankans both hereabroad to help promote our motherland," he had said.

Since the beginning of 2022, Sri Lanka has experienced escalating economic crisis and the government has defaulted on its foreign loans. The United Nations warned that 5.7 million people "require immediate humanitarian assistance."India under its 'Neighbourhood First' policy, has always come forward to help the debt-ridden island country. Recently, India has extended 8 Lines of Credit (LOCs) to Sri Lanka amounting to USD 1,850.64 million in the past 10 years.

"Government of India has extended 8 Lines of Credit (LOCs) to Sri Lanka amounting to USD 1,850.64 million in sectors including railways, infrastructure, defence, renewable energy, petroleum and fertilizers in the past 10 years," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in a written reply to question put by DMK Lok Sabha MP S Ramalingam.

More than 25 tons of drugs and medical supplies which were donated by the government and people of India during the last two months are valued at close to SLR 370 million. This is in addition to the economic assistance of around USD 3.5 billion and supply of other humanitarian supplies such as rice, milk powder, and kerosene.

These humanitarian supplies are in continuation of the government of India's ongoing support to the people of Sri Lanka in multiple forms such as financial assistance, forex support, material supply, and many more. These efforts prove that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Neighborhood First' policy which places people-to-people engagement is still active.

India is becoming a stronger and more mutually beneficial partner to Sri Lanka. Apart from assistance during the pandemic and fertilizer chaos, India is also donating basic products to the island nation. (ANI)

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