File photograph: Indian Army - Sikh Light Infantry Regiment (Antônio Milena)
The Indian High Commission in Colombo has denied reports appearing in the India press, which claimed that Delhi was preparing to send troops to Sri Lanka as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Press Trust of India quoted “official sources” as stating the Indian army had prepared several “rapid response teams for dispatching to friendly neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan”.
However, just one day later, NewsWire quoted an Indian High Commission source as stating, “There is no plan to send the Indian Army to Sri Lanka for whatever purpose”. “Those media reports are false,” the source added.
India previously sent troops to the island as part of its Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) deployment in 1987. Whilst there, India troops carried out a wide range of human rights abuses and several massacres of Tamils.