New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: India on Tuesday said it is "fully supportive" of the democracy, stability, and economic recovery of Sri Lanka as the island nation faces its worst economic crisis since independence.

Responding to media queries on the developments in Sri Lanka, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India has also decided to extend this year alone support worth over USD 3.5 billion to help people in the island nation "overcome their current difficulties".

"In addition, the people of India have provided assistance for mitigating the shortages of essential items such as food, medicine etc," he said. "India will always be guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes."

India's response comes a day after Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from his position, leading to nationwide clashes in which eight people were killed, including a lawmaker from the ruling party, while more than 200 were injured.

On Tuesday, Rajapaksa, 76, and his family were also rescued by the Sri Lankan army and taken to a naval base in Trincomalee after an angry mob burnt their ancestral home.

The protesters alleged that Rajapaksa incited his supporters, asking them to attack the 'peaceful' agitators. The protesters, along with opposition party leaders, have demanded action against Rajapaksa.

"Rajapaksa (Mahinda) must be arrested and brought before the law," MA Sumanthiran, the main Tamil legislator, said in a message.

Similar sentiments were expressed by former President Maithripala Sirisena and the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya party's leader Ranjith Madduma Bandara. "He must be arrested for encouraging violence. There was no reason to attack the peaceful protesters," Sirisena said.

Meanwhile, officials have said that the situation is normal now, asking people to maintain law and order across the island nation. However, the all-island curfew, which was scheduled to be lifted on Tuesday, has been extended till Wednesday.

"The situation is calmer now, though there are still reports of sporadic unrest," Reuters quoted police spokesman Nihal Thalduwa as saying.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma