Colombo: An Indian ship laden with urgent relief supplies like rice, medicines and milk powder for the people of crisis-hit Sri Lanka is scheduled to reach Colombo on Sunday, the Indian High Commission said here on Friday.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin flagged off a ship laden with relief supplies, the first to be dispatched to Sri Lanka, from Chennai on on Wednesday.

The first consignment comprises 9,000 metric tonne (MT) of rice, 200 MT milk powder and 24 MT life-saving medicines with a combined value of Rs 45 crore.

“People of #India, standing by their bretheren in #SriLanka. Rice, milk powder and medicines worth more than SLR 2 billion is scheduled to reach #Colombo on Sunday,” the Indian mission tweeted.

Chief Minister Stalin flagged off the cargo carrying the relief, from the Chennai Port, in the presence of his cabinet colleagues and senior officials.

Sri Lanka is going through the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948. A crippling shortage of foreign reserves has led to long queues for fuel, cooking gas and other essentials while power cuts and soaring food prices heaped misery on the people.

The economic crisis has also triggered a political crisis in Sri Lanka and a demand for the resignation of the powerful Rajapaksas.

India has said that as an eternal and reliable friend of Sri Lanka, New Delhi is fully supportive of the island nation’s democracy, stability and economic recovery.

In keeping with India’s Neighbourhood First policy, New Delhi has extended this year alone support worth over USD 3.5 billion to the people of Sri Lanka for helping them overcome their current difficulties, the Ministry of External Affairs said on May 10.

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