News

    Sri Lanka to Boost Investment in Tamil Provinces Devastated by Civil War

    Sri Lanka to Boost Investment in Tamil Provinces Devastated by Civil War
    Sri Lanka to Boost Investment in Tamil Provinces Devastated by Civil War

    Multimedia

    Audio
    <!-- IMAGE -->


    Sri Lanka plans to pour development money into Tamil-dominated provinces that suffered economically during years of civil war. A Sri Lankan cabinet minister spoke at the World Economic Forum's India summit.

    Sri Lankan government officials are predicting the island nation's $41 billion economy will expand between seven and eight percent next year.

    Larger prospects for growth are being proclaimed by government officials after this year's defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels, which brought an end to a quarter century of civil war.

    A group of the island's top business leaders is visiting New Delhi to entice more of their Indian counterparts to invest in Sri Lanka.

    India is already Sri Lanka's top source of imports, totaling $3.5 billion annually. But analysts say foreign direct investment is hampered by high corporate taxes and a legacy of socialist-era policies and bureaucracy.  

    Sri Lanka's Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Sarath Amunugama, says the government has taken a policy decision to develop the Tamil-dominated provinces which, for years, were effectively controlled by the now-defeated rebels.

    "It is only fair that we do that because that area has not seen growth for three decades," Amunugama saud, "And, if I may put it that way, a disproportionately large part of the forthcoming budget would be allocated for growth in the North and East."

    United Nations officials say about 40,000 Tamils have returned to their villages in the past two weeks under Colombo's resettlement plan. But more than 160,000 are still in displacement camps.

    They fled this year's fighting between government troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The rebel group failed in its violent quest to establishment an ethnic homeland on the island, which is dominated by the mainly Buddhist Sinhalese.

    Despite a doubling of its gross domestic product in the past five years, Sri Lanka still requires foreign aid and loans.
     
    Amunugama, who is also the deputy finance minister, says the United States and the West have been supplanted as the primary aid donors by India, China, Japan, Iran and Arab countries, including Libya.
     
    The International Monetary Fund last week released the second payment of a controversial $2.6 billion loan to Colombo.

    The United States, which has the largest voting share on the IMF's executive board, was seen as attempting to delay the huge loan to pressure Sri Lanka to address human rights issues in the country.

    The United States and European Union are among the voices in the international community still pressing for accountability for thousands of civilian deaths at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war.

    The Colombo government has denied any war crimes were committed by its forces and is promising to investigate. It also accuses the defeated rebels of deliberately firing upon or using as human shields terrified civilians who tried to flee the fighting during the government's final offensive.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora