Colombo [Sri Lanka], April 8: Former Sri Lankan cricketer Roshan Mahanama requested India to support Sri Lanka during this economic crisis and said that India has always stood with Sri Lanka like an elder brother.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Mahanama said, “We request support from India like it always been a stand for Sri Lanka like an elder brother. We have good relations with Pakistan to an extent and with China also. We need support from all of them.”
Earlier on Wednesday, India supplied over 270,000 MT of fuel to Sri Lanka so far to help ease the power crisis in the island country, which is witnessing acute power cuts. The consignment of fuel is part of the USD 500 million oil line of credit extended by India.
Mahanama said that Sri Lankan leaders are to be blamed for the ongoing crisis the country is going through, but the country will definitely bounce back. He also said that he usually stays away from the limelight as he is much concerned to make this place better for future generations.
“My main concern is toward my people in Sri Lanka, my fans who supported me during my good and bad times so now it is my responsibility to take care of them during a tough time. Yes, we are in a real crisis but I want to say that the Sri Lankan leaders are to be blamed for the present crisis situation. We have no electricity, no fuel supply and a shortage of food,” he said.
He added that youngsters are protesting on the street. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country. The health system is also good, but all these are taken by politicians.
“We’ve been suffering from last 74 years because the government has sole agenda to remain in power. How can they (politicians) remain in power when their job is to look after the people. They should come out with solutions and start talking to International bodies like IMF (International Monetary Fund) to get over the crisis situation, ” he said.
He personally feels that politicians can’t run away from their responsibility. The nation has come together for the first time, and everyone wants to change the regime.
“I urge all Sri Lankans to stay together, to show your commitment but don’t loose control and hope as we need to make our politicians accountable for the situation they have pushed the country. We need to change a political system but right now these politicians have to deliver basic essentials requirements to people,” he said.
He added that he is deeply hurt to see how this beautiful country has been destroyed. I have a strong sense that we will bounce back, all we need is to have support from countries like India.
A section of the media is showing a negative picture of the ongoing protest in Sri Lanka against the politicians.
“We need support at present and the countries who support us should not expect anything in return for support. This is a beautiful country where tourists from India and other countries come to visit. I request every country to come forward and help us to come out of this crisis,” he said.
The country is witnessing protests over the government’s handling of the worst economic crisis in decades.
Sri Lanka is battling a severe economic crisis with food and fuel scarcity affecting a large number of the people in the island nation. The economy has been in a free-fall since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the crush of tourism.
Sri Lanka is also facing a foreign exchange shortage, which has, incidentally, affected its capacity to import food and fuel, leading to the power cuts in the country. The shortage of essential goods forced Sri Lanka to seek assistance from friendly countries. (ANI)