Sri Lanka demands aid for war-torn regions

Colombo, March 8 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said it would call for international investments and assistance to develop the formerly war-torn areas in the country.

Niroshan Perera, state minister of national policy, said the government would convene a donor conference in 2016 to seek technical and financial assistance for the war-torn regions and has requested Japan to take the lead, Xinhua reported.

“When the prime minister visited Japan, he requested the government to take the lead. They have been organising 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 (worst-affected regions),” he added.

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

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

Sri Lanka’s north and east were the worst-affected in the 30-year civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels with the north remaining as the stronghold 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 one million jobs in the next five years with the support of new foreign investments.

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