Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SRI LANKA: North crying out for more private investment

KILINOCHCHI, 12 October 2010 (IRIN) - More private investment, especially in agriculture, is urgently needed in Sri Lanka’s former conflict zone in the north to lift the local population out of dependence, say experts.

"Private investments are very important to wean away the people from over 25 years of dependence on relief and welfare handouts from the government, NGOs, donors, et al, and steer them towards self-sustenance,” Muttikrishna Saravananthan, lead researcher at the Point Pedro Institute of Development [ http://pointpedro.org/ ] based in the northern city of Jaffna, told IRIN. “If not, the Vanni will remain a perpetual basket case.”

Tens of thousands of people displaced during the decades-long civil war that ended in May 2009 have returned to Vanni District, northern Sri Lanka, an area formerly under control of the now-defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. But more than a year on, private investment has been slow to follow suit.
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