Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia today applauded Trivandrum and Kochi airport for going out of their way to help the crisis-hit Sri Lanka by refuelling commercial flights to the island nation which has run out of jet fuel.
"The airports have gone beyond their call of duty by allowing technical landing to 120+ aircraft bound for Sri Lanka. The gesture will go a long way in furthering ties with our neighbour," Mr Scindia said in a tweet.
Sri Lanka has been suffering a diesel shortage since February, which led to hours of daily power cuts. Presently, Sri Lanka is struggling with acute food and electricity shortages, forcing the country to seek help from its neighbours.
Chennai is another Indian airport that is helping to refuel flights to Sri Lanka. For instance, the Colombo-Tokyo flights landed at Chennai for refuelling before resuming its onward journey.
Sri Lanka’s economy has collapsed with the country left with no foreign exchange to import fuel, food and medicine. Galloping inflation with soaring food prices has put a crushing burden on the people who have risen in a mass protest forcing the President to flee the country.
Outgoing President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled to the Maldives. appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the interim President of Sri Lanka, but the opposition parties refused to accept the decision.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the presidential palace in Colombo under naval protection on Saturday, shortly before tens of thousands of protesters stormed the compound.
Hours later, the parliamentary speaker announced Rajapaksa would resign on Wednesday to allow a "peaceful transition of power". However, he has not received any letter of resignation till now.
Ranil Wickremesinghe has himself announced his willingness to step down if consensus is reached on forming a unity government. He is also facing the wrath of the Sri Lanka masses as his home was burnt down in Colombo.
The main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) party was in talks with smaller political groups on Monday to secure support for their leader Sajith Premadasa who lost the 2019 presidential election.
Premadasa is the son of former president Ranasinghe Premadasa, who was assassinated in a Tamil suicide bombing in 1993.
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