The INS Gharial brought a consignment of drugs for the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital

A large consignment of drugs and other medical supplies gifted by India to the people of Sri Lanka was handed over by Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay to Health Minister Channa Jayasumana, in Colombo, recently, a news release from the Indian High Commission said.

The medical consignment which was delivered by Indian Naval Ship (INS) Gharial, has been made available to the Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya, for their use. Deployment of an INS vessel for ensuring expeditious delivery of the medical supplies to Sri Lanka testifies to the importance that the Government of India attaches to Sri Lanka and the well-being of the people of Sri Lanka.

INS Gharial also had onboard a wave rider boat built by the Sri Lanka Navy which was being shipped to Seychelles. This truly reflects close ties between the two countries and coordination between their Defence Forces in working together on issues pertaining to the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

In addition, INS Gharial is scheduled to deliver two ambulances for the Maldives which were also onboard the ship. Delivering on a diverse set of needs by three partner countries in the IOR, the deployment of INS Gharial exemplifies India’s SAGAR doctrine – Security and Growth for All in the Region. This also underlines India’s emphasis on meeting the requirements of partner countries in the Region, both directly as also in partnership with other countries.

India is widely considered to be the ‘First Responder’ in the IOR. It may be recalled that immediate deployment of assets by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard in response to MT New Diamond and MV XPress Pearl disasters in 2020 and 2021 had mitigated losses and damages to the marine environment of Sri Lanka substantially.

The Indian Navy also rushed with rescue and relief operations in the wake of heavy floods in Sri Lanka in May 2017 and provided 100T Liquid Medical Oxygen to fight Covid-19 in August 2021, the media release from the Indian High Commission said.