Western funding agencies make a beeline for Lanka to counter China’s influence
Posted on September 6th, 2018

Courtesy NewsIn.Asia

Colombo, September 6 (newsin.asia): Funding agencies affiliated to the Western nations and their allies, Japan and South Korea, are now making a beeline for Sri Lanka to counter growing Chinese developmental assistance to it.

Representatives of leading international donor agencies, including Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) met Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday.

It appears that the Western, Japanese and Korean funding will mostly be for social welfare infrastructure and rehabilitation projects meeting the needs of the common man, a cause close to the heart of President Sirisena.

Western funding agencies make a beeline for Lanka to counter China’s influence

The move has apparently been made to counter China, which, apart from investing in big ticket infrastructure projects like roads, ports and urban development, is also turning its attention to social welfare and common man oriented projects to improve its image and take it close to  common Sri Lankans.

China is building a kidney disease hospital in Polonnaruwa district, the worst affected area. It was aiming to build 45, 000 houses in the war torn North but was  thwarted by India which felt that the North should be considered part of its sphere of influence. India had also successfully done a massive housing project there earlier.

According to a release from the Presidential Media Division, the representatives of international donor agencies said that they are ready to extend the fullest support for the efforts taken by the President to achieve development and ethnic reconciliation.

President Sirisena thanked them for the support extended thus far added that he expects to expand this cooperation across a wide range of areas.

The President that his objective is to deliver equal development benefits to all the citizens of the country while developing all nine provinces of the country in an equitable manner.

Rebuilding of war affected North and East

The President noted that the Government is giving prominent attention to developing the North and East of the country which faced much destruction due to the war. Assistance of international organizations is required to develop infrastructure facilities including providing a solution to the drinking water problem, he stressed.

Sirisena claimed that the rehabilitation of 88% of the people of Northern and Eastern Provinces has been almost done. The government is moving forward to rehabilitate the remaining 12% as early as possible, he added.

The government will pay special attention to providing employment for the youth in the Northern and Eastern provinces and also to tackling the drug menace there.

Missing Persons

The President said that he had received the Interim Report of the Office of the Missing Persons established to look into the missing persons issue and that a cabinet sub -committee will be established to study the report.

The President requested the representatives to support programs conducted for the welfare of the families of missing persons.

(The featured image at the top shows  President Sirisena addressing international donor agencies in Colombo on Sept 5, 2018 . PMD photo)

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