DC Edit | TN\'s helping hand for Lanka

India, and Tamil Nadu specifically, share historic ties with Sri Lanka

The unanimous resolution of the Tamil Nadu Assembly seeking the permission of the Union government to allow it to deliver humanitarian help in the form of food and medicine to crisis-ridden Sri Lanka and the proactive position of the government promptly allowing it could write a new chapter in the history of friendship between the two neighbouring nations.

While moving the resolution last week, which was supported by all parties in the House, Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin had said 40,000 tonnes of rice, 500 tonnes of milk powder and 137 boxes of medicines would be sent as the first installment to the island nation through the Indian High Commission. The chief minister had also revealed that, when he wanted to send relief to the Tamils, many Tamil leaders and groups there had told him not to differentiate between the people on linguistic lines as the whole of Sri Lanka was suffering due to the economic crisis there.

As it is being worked out, the Tamil Nadu government will now coordinate with the Union government as the Sri Lankan government accepts inclusive relief on a government-to-government basis. The government of Sri Lanka will distribute the material “appropriately in the current circumstances”, as per the ministry of external affairs.

India, and Tamil Nadu specifically, share historic ties with Sri Lanka but it is a fact that the people of Tamil Nadu have many a grievance against their neighbour across the Palk Strait: they had to watch helplessly the genocide of their brethren by the government there; the authorities there show no sympathy towards the fishermen from the state when they are caught while inadvertently crossing the border. But none of them has ever come in the way of extending a hand in the hour of extreme crisis there.

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