Tamil Nadu Assembly on Friday passed a unanimous resolution urging the central government to permit the state to send essential items, medicines to Sri Lanka on humanitarian basis.
The resolution was moved by Chief Minister M.K.Stalin signalling the government’s changed stance.
Earlier, the DMK government in the state had asked the central government’s permission to send the essential items to only Sri Lankan Tamils.
On Friday, moving the resolution, Stalin said the island nation is facing a severe economic crisis and the prices of essential items have gone up and are not affordable to the people.
Stalin said the Lankan problem cannot be seen as a problem of another country and “we have to lend help”.
Referring to his earlier decision to supply essential items to Lankan Tamils, Stalin said Tamils in that island nation welcoming the move had said that the entire nation is suffering and the assistance should be provided to the nation as a whole and not only to the Tamils.
Stalin said the state government has decided to ship 40,000 ton of rice (value Rs 80 crore), life saving drugs (Rs 28 crore) and 500 ton milk powder (Rs 15 crore) to Sri Lanka.
As the state cannot send the items directly to Sri Lanka and has to be routed through the central government and Indian High Commission in the island nation and hence this resolution, Stalin said.
Earlier, Stalin had requested the central government to allow the state to ship the essential supplies including food grain, vegetables and medicines etc., from Thoothukudi port to the Sri Lankan Tamils living in Northern and Eastern Parts of Sri Lanka and Colombo, as well as those working in the plantations who are reeling under severe food crisis.
Tamil Nadu also sees several Lankan Tamils landing in the state owing to the economic crisis in their country.