A large consignment of drugs and other medical supplies gifted by India to the people of Sri Lanka was handed over by High Commissioner Gopal Baglay to Hon’ble Channa Jayasumana, Minister of Health in Colombo on 29 April 2022. The medical consignment which was delivered by Indian Naval Ship (INS) Gharial has been made available to Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya for their use. Deployment of an INS for ensuring expeditious delivery of the medical supplies to Sri Lanka testifies to the importance, Government of India attaches to Sri Lanka and the well-being of the people of Sri Lanka.
INS Gharial also had onboard a Wave Rider Boat built by Sri Lanka Navy which was being shipped to Seychelles. This truly reflects close ties between the two countries and coordination between theirDefence Forces in working together on issues pertaining to the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
In addition, INS Gharial is also scheduled to deliver two Ambulances for Maldives which were also embarked onboard the ship. Delivering on a diverse set of needs by three partner countries in IOR, the deployment of INS Gharial exemplifies India’s S.A.G.A.R doctrine – Security And Growth for All in the Region. This also underlines India’s emphasis on meeting the requirements of partner countries in the Region, both directly as also in partnership with other countries.
India is widely considered to be the ‘First Responder’ in IOR. It may be recalled that immediate deployment of assets by Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard in response to MT New Diamond and MV XPress Pearl disasters in 2020 and 2021 had mitigated losses and damages to the marine environment of Sri Lanka substantially. Indian Navy also rushed with rescue and relief operations in the wake of heavy floods in Sri Lanka in May 2017 and provided 100T Liquid Medical Oxygen to fight Covid-19 in August 2021.