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Colombo [Sri Lanka], May 23 (ANI): Former Sri Lankan cabinet Minister Namal Rajapaksa on Monday extended gratitude to India for the latest round of humanitarian aid and essential items sent to Sri Lanka worth Rs 2 Billion.

Namal Rajapaksa, who is the son of the former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said that India has been a big brother to the country throughout the years, something that they will never forget.

"Grateful to PM Narendra Modi, Hon CM MK Stalinthe people of India for the aidessential items sent to LKA. India certainly has been a big brothera good friend to LKA throughout the years, something that we will never forget! Thank you," Namal Rajapaksa said in a tweet.

India handed over a large amount of humanitarian assistance consignment worth over Rs 2 billion to the island country which reached Colombo on Sunday. The consignment comprises 9,000 metric tons of rice, and 50 metric tons of milk powder, coupled with over 25 metric tons of drugs and other pharmaceutical supplies.

The consignment will be distributed among several beneficiaries across the country by the Sri Lankan government, reported Colombo Page. The beneficiaries include Northern, Eastern, Central, and Western provinces, covering diverse sections of the society.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed gratitude to the "people of India" for the assistance amidst the prevalent economic crisis in the island country.

"Sri Lanka today received Rs 2 Billion worth of humanitarian aid, including milk powder, rice, and medicines from India. Our sincere gratitude to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Hon. @mkstalin and the People of India for the support extended," Sri Lankan PM tweeted.

This assistance to neighbouring Sri Lanka comes as the island nation is struggling to cope with its dire economic scarcity, with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices, and power cuts affecting a large number of people.

Earlier, the Indian government had sent out dry rations, medicines, and other essential commodities to Sri Lanka on a grant basis.

At this time of crisis, India has pledged nearly USD 3 billion to cash-strapped Colombo through currency swaps, credit lines for essential goods, and repayment of loans since January 2022 to help Sri Lanka amid one of the worst economic crises in history. (ANI)

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