Sri Lanka Crisis: Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence. (File)Thiruvananthapuram: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said India has committed USD 3.8 billion for the support of Sri Lanka during the latter’s economic crisis which had been building up over a period of time.The Union minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a neighbourhood first policy where the government makes special efforts to try and support the country’s neighbours in a manner that meets their requirements.”In the case of Sri Lanka, we have given them a line of credit which has kept essential commodities flowing to them from India over the last several months. We also gave them a line of credit for purchase of fuel. At the moment, our focus is on helping them recover.”This year alone, we have committed around 3.8 billion (US) dollars to them in terms of supporting them. We have been their biggest supporter. It is one of the reasons why they have been able to prevent the situation from becoming worse,” the minister said in response to queries by reporters at a press conference here.He also said there were no security concerns for India over the political unrest in Sri Lanka as the people there, and the world over, have appreciated what we have done for them.”The answers to Sri Lanka’s problems are in Sri Lanka itself,” he added.The Union minister also said there was no refugee crisis as of now. “I do not think we can call it a crisis. Occasionally, some people have come from there, but right now I do not think there is any justification for calling it a refugee crisis,” he said.S Jaishankar also fielded queries on purchase of oil from Russia and how it was viewed by the West, the fate of Indian students who had returned from China during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the gold smuggling through diplomatic bags case and the alleged involvement of the UAE consulate here in that.On the smuggling case, he said the Ministry of External Affairs and the whole country was aware that “something that should not have happened has happened here”.”But I do not want to comment on it as the issue is sub judice. What is important is that everybody, be it anyone in the government or in authority, should behave as per the law,” he said.On the oil purchase from Russia, he said, “I go out to buy the cheapest oil. It may or may not be from Russia. My concern is to address the problem being faced by the people here due to the rising fuel prices.” He said since the central government has cut taxes on petrol and diesel, similar efforts should be made by the states so that the people can enjoy the benefit of the same.On the Indian students who returned from China midway through their courses, S Jaishankar said he had pursued the issue strongly with the Chinese government and they have informed that steps have been taken to allow the students to go back.”The process has started,” he said.The Union minister was also asked about the challenges faced by the government in the form of criticism from foreign nations with regard to its policies as well as various incidents in the country, to which he replied that there would be political attacks and propaganda.”In a globalised world, a political attack here will go abroad. So, we have to be careful how we project things… But under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will not hesitate from voicing our views and defending our views. We are very very clear on that,” the country’s top diplomat said.Earlier in the day, when he landed at Thiruvananthapuram airport, he had told reporters that the Indian government has always been supportive of Sri Lanka and it was “trying to help” the neighbouring country through its present economic crisis and made it clear that there was “no refugee crisis right now”.”They are right now working through their problems, so we have to wait and see what they do, ” he had said.S Jaishankar was also asked by reporters the reason for his visit to Kerala to which he replied that there were several.He said he wanted to spend time with his party colleagues here and understand how they are doing and what is happening here.Asked how he sees BJP’s prospects in the southern state, the Union minister responded that prospects of the party were “very good” all over the country.”There is no exception to it anywhere. But we will always try and keep working to improve the prospects,” he added.In the press conference in the evening, S Jaishankar said he was here to make an “assessment” of “what is working and what is not working and how people are reacting to the changes over the last eight years”.He said that being a people-centric government, the BJP dispensation at the Centre was sending out its ministers to find out what was happening at the ground level.