The current economic crisis in Sri Lanka, the worst in the history of the island nation, is putting its citizens in dire conditions. School exams being canceled due to a shortage of printer paper and ink, a cup of tea costing Rs 100 (Sri Lankan rupees) and even elderly people dying while waiting at gas stations, the situation is getting worse. deteriorating day by day. Today, a group of Lankan nationals even fled the island nation, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, and illegally reached Indian shores.
Six Sri Lankan nationals have taken the extremely risky decision to embark on an illegal boat ride of around 50km from Pesalai, Mannar in northwestern Sri Lanka to Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu in India. According to the Indian Coast Guard, they had received information on the illegal migration of six Lankan nationals to India. As a result, the Coast Guard had launched a hovercraft on Tuesday morning to patrol the area.
After two hours of searching, the crew of the craft spotted six people on the fourth island of Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. The investigation revealed that the group consisting of a man, two women and three children reside in Jaffna and Kokupadaiyan in the northern tip of Sri Lanka. They had embarked on a fishing boat in the night (10:30 p.m.) Monday and landed on the fourth island of Rameswaram in the early hours of Tuesday, around 1:30 a.m. They had taken an illegal and risky boat trip across the Palk Strait to escape the excessively high prices of basic necessities in their country.
The Coast Guard brought the six people to Mandapam Airport safely and conducted a joint interrogation upon arrival, after which they were handed over to the Mandapam Coastal Security Group for further legal action.
The cash-strapped Indian Ocean littoral state of Sri Lanka, home to nearly 22 million people, is facing a crippling economic crisis, caused by a severe shortage of foreign exchange reserves needed for imports essential. This has caused shortages of food, fuel and even medicine, on top of that the country is also experiencing severe power outages. Recently, the Indian government agreed to provide a $1 billion line of credit to purchase food and medicine in addition to a previously granted $500 million facility. Sri Lankan authorities announced last week that the country would seek an IMF bailout. It is also reported that Sri Lanka has applied for a new loan as well as a buyer’s credit from China for $2.5 billion. This sum is in addition to the 2.8 billion dollars that China has offered to Sri Lanka since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.