KARWAR: On Friday afternoon (May 27) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh made a surprise call to Indian Navy staff who were deployed on the INS Gharial in Sri Lanka. The INS Gharial ship is docked in Colombo, delivering essential relief supplies to the island nation.
During the video conferencing interaction, Singh praised the Indian Navy's efforts and stressed the Neighbourhood First policy and strong connections with India's closest maritime neighbour.
"INS Gharial and other Indian Navy ships are carrying crucial supplies to Sri Lanka during the crisis, I hope the sea condition is safe," he said. He went on to say that, apart from being a neighbour, Sri Lanka is an old friend of India, and that it is India's responsibility to stand by Sri Lanka through its crisis and assist it in every manner possible. "Sri Lanka is India's strategic partner and closest maritime partner, and India has traditionally adopted the "Neighbourhood First" policy. The Navy has made India's 'humanitarian mission' effective by successfully delivering essential commodities to Sri Lanka " the defense minister said.
On Friday, the Indian Navy's INS Gharial, a 5600-ton Landing Ship Tanker, landed in Colombo as part of Mission SAGAR IX. The ship is carrying Sri Lanka's second batch of crucial relief supplies.
It may be noted that INS Gharial came on April 22 to deliver the first cargo of 760 kg of medicines for Peradiniya University, and that India will continue to provide humanitarian assistance. The initiative of the Indian government and people stresses India's "Neighbourhood First" policy and emphasises the country's concern for the people of Sri Lanka.