NEW DELHI: India on Thursday urged its nationals planning to visit Sri Lanka to exercise caution and especially called on them to consider factors like currency convertibility and the fuel situation in that country before undertaking any essential travel.
Sri Lanka has been reeling under severe shortage of fuel and food in the last few months and the economic crisis has triggered massive protests in Colombo last month.
India has extended assistance worth over $3.8 billion to Sri Lanka this year to help it deal with the economic crisis.
“We have been following the developments there. Our understanding is that Indians are still the largest source of tourists for Sri Lanka,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
“As regards to the travel of Indians to Sri lanka in the current situation, let me emphasise that safety and well being of Indian nationals during their stay outside India including in Sri Lanka in this particular case, is always of prime interest to us,” he said.
Bagchi was replying to a question on the issue during his weekly media briefing.
“Our endeavour is to prevent any untoward incidents involving Indians outside India…we would, therefore, encourage Indians to exercise all care and caution while in Sri Lanka.
“They should examine all relevant factors including currency convertibility and the fuel situation before undertaking any essential travel to Sri Lanka,” Bagchi added.
To a question on US deputy secretary of treasury Wally Adeyemo’s ongoing visit to India, Bagchi said India expects the talks to cover issues like terror financing, coordination between the two countries in the International Monetary Fund among others.