Sri Lanka calls for int’l aid for war-torn region

The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said it would call for international investments and assistance to develop former war torn areas in the north and east.

Niroshan Perera, State Minister of National Policy and Economic Development, said the government would convene a donor conference this year to seek technical and financial assistance for the north and east and had requested Japan to take the lead.

“When the prime minister visited Japan, he requested the Japanese government to take the lead. They have been organizing that. Hopefully we will have it in the middle of the year,” Perera said.

“It will be to call for technical assistance plus financial assistance for the north and east.”

Perera said the north was one of the key areas that needed to be developed and the government had already discussed with many countries calling for foreign investments to those areas.

China is one of the countries that has been invited to invest in the north and east, Perera added.

Sri Lanka’s north and east were the worst-affected in a 30-year civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels with the north remaining as the strong hold of the rebels till they were militarily defeated by government troops in May 2009.

Thousands of minority Tamils in those areas continue to languish without jobs and a stable income and the new government led by President Maithripala Sirisena aims to create at least 1 million jobs in the next five years with the support of new foreign investments, including in the north and east. Endit

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