Sri Lanka asks diaspora to invest in reconstructing the war zone
The Sri lanka government has decided to ask the Tamil diaspora to invest funds to help reconstruct bridges, roads and railways in the war-ravaged north that have been destroyed due to the 25-year-long ethnic war in the country.
Funds to help ensure income-generating livelihoods for people, many of whom have to be resettled after being displaced by fighting will also be requested from the diaspora.
April 10, 2009 (LBO) - Sri Lanka has said it plans to entice the Tamil diaspora to invest in reviving the war-ravaged north and has set up a separate division to oversee all rehabilitation activities. The government is considering a range of reconstruction activity to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by the 25-year-long ethnic war, the central bank said.
These include bridges, roads and railways with the aim of reconnecting the north with the rest of the island.
They also include incentives to encourage small business to ensure income-generating livelihoods for people, many of whom have to be resettled after being displaced by fighting, the bank said in its annual report for 2008.
"In order to complement these efforts, measures will also be taken to attract investment and business interest from the northern province diaspora to convert their accumulated financial and human capital into the development process."
The ADB said that some of the ways the Sri lanka government plans to boost reserves in January 2009 was by current swaps with central bank’s, promotion of investments in treasury bills and bonds among the Sri Lankan Diaspora.
The ADB stated that the government’s announced strategies to boost reserves in January 2009 such as current swaps with central bank’s, promotion of investments in treasury bills and bonds among the Sri Lankan Diaspora and other measures, their effectiveness remains to be seen.
Last month President Rajapakse appealed to India, China and Japan for help in completing the reconstruction of the railway line instead of appealing for help from the diaspora.
Rajapaksa did not give a time frame or cost for extending the line to Jaffna, a peninsula in the far north that is the traditional home of Tamil culture. He appealed to India, China and Japan for help in completing the line.
Trains are an important form of travel in Sri Lanka because they are a cost-effective way of moving people and goods, while many roads are in poor shape. A highway goes to Jaffna, but it has been mostly closed because of the war.
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