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'Blatantly false': Indian High Commission rubbishes reports of Sri Lankan politicians and their families fleeing to India

Earlier in the day, India said it is "fully supportive" of Sri Lanka's democracy, stability and economic recovery

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 10:52 PM IST

Anti-government demonstrators take part in a protest near the Presidents office in Colombo on May 10, 2022.  |  (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP)
Anti-government demonstrators take part in a protest near the Presidents office in Colombo on May 10, 2022. | (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP)
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The Indian High Commission in Colombo on Tuesday rubbished reports that some Sri Lankan politicians and their families had fled to India. The Commission said the reports suggesting this were "fake, blatantly false, and devoid of any truth or substance".

"The High Commission has recently noticed rumours circulating in sections of media & social media that certain political persons and their families have fled to India. These are fake and blatantly false reports, devoid of any truth or substance. The High Commission strongly denies them," the Indian Commission tweeted.

Earlier in the day, India said it is "fully supportive" of Sri Lanka's democracy, stability and economic recovery.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "India will always be guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes." He was responding to media queries on the developments in Sri Lanka.

"As a close neighbour of Sri Lanka, with historical ties, India is fully supportive of its democracy, stability and economic recovery," Bagchi said.

He also mentioned the assistance India provided to help Sri Lanka deal with the economic crisis.

"In keeping with our Neighbourhood First policy, India 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," Bagchi said.

"In addition, the people of India have provided assistance for mitigating the shortages of essential items such as food, medicine etc," he said.

Meanwhile, with escalating violence in Sri Lanka, including torching of houses belonging to ruling party politicians and family members of President Gotabaya Rajapksa, armed forces have been given orders to open fire at anyone causing personal harm, or damaging/looting the properties of others.

Eight people, including a politician from the ruling party, a police officer and civilians, have been killed since violence broke out on Monday, while as many as 219 injured persons are undergoing treatments at government hospitals.

Secretary in the Defence Ministry, Kamal Gunaratne, said that 60 vehicles, including buses and jeeps, have been torched and over 40 vehicles have been damaged since Monday.

"While peaceful protest is being conducted, there are sections of the society who have resorted to violence and looting. We are going to strictly impose the law against anyone violating it," the Defence Secretary said.

Amid the spread of violence, President Rajapaksa has extended the curfew from Wednesday to Thursday.

(With PTI and IANS inputs)

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Published on: Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 10:52 PM IST