India to deploy military to Sri Lanka to offer assistance

The Indian Army is readying separate teams to be deployed in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan to help those countries boost capabilities to deal with rising cases of coronavirus, official sources said on Tuesday, according to the Press Trust of India.

A 14-member Indian Army team was sent to Maldives last month to help the island nation set up coronavirus testing laboratories and train local medical professionals to fight the pandemic.

Earlier this month, India dispatched a 15-member team of Army to Kuwait as part of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The sources said the teams for Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan are being readied as part of India’s policy of extending helping hand to all friendly countries in the region to fight the pandemic.

India has also been playing a key role in pushing for a common framework in fighting the pandemic in the SAARC region.

At a video-conference on March 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for formulating a joint strategy to fight COVID-19 in the SAARC region and proposed an emergency fund with an initial offer of USD 10 million from India. It is understood that India has already made the contribution.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a grouping comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

All the SAARC member nations are reeling under adverse social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of its policy to help friendly countries to deal with the pandemic, India is also supplying anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to 55 countries. A number of countries including the U.S., Mauritius and Seychelles have already received the drug.

Hydroxychloroquine has been identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a possible treatment for COVID-19 and it is being tested on more than 1,500 coronavirus patients in New York.

The demand for the drug has swelled rapidly after India decided to lift a ban on its export.

In the neighbourhood, India is sending the drug to Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh Nepal, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, sources said, according to the Press Trust of India.

UPDATE:India denies claims troops will be sent to Sri Lanka

2 COMMENTS

  1. I think India should look-after their internal issues. Any such military involvement and monitory assistance will be taken as SOFA, MCC creeping through India’s flag. Please help poor Indians who do not have even a toilet, rather than playing the ‘middle-man show’.

  2. Why? Isnt the army in Sri Lanka good enough? One is sure they are. India would well to look after its own country which is gigantic, diversified and besieged with cultural and religious problems and now threatened like elsewhere with Covid19. What is India playingvat. Hasnt it done enough harm in its own backyard Kashmir?

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