The Government of Japan appreciates the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report and is urging Sri Lanka to implement its recommendations, Japanese Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo said.
"We hope that the Sri Lankan government will implement the recommendations in this report," he told the Business Times on the sidelines of a signing ceremony to provide grant aid for the rehabilitation of the Weliwewa Tank in Mihintale Divisional Secretary Division, Anuradhapura District under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects scheme (GGP) on Tuesday.
He added that Japan has always supported peace and that during the peace discussions (with the LTTE) had stressed for consolidation of peace. "It is our policy to continue to support Sri Lanka. It's a real opportunity to build the nation in a more conducive environment than before (peace),” he added further. Japan has extended US$93,177 (around Rs. 11 million) grant aid for the rehabilitation of this tank which would be implemented by Rajarata Janasahana Foundation, aiming at improving agricultural activities and livelihood of approximately 300 families who are engaging in agriculture around the area, Mr. Hobo said. In addition, this project will also contribute to socio-economic development of Anuradhapura district.
Ashoka Indika Wickramage, Chairman/Executive Director of Rajarata Janasahana Foundation, noted that since ancient times, Weliwewa Tank had provided water to fields and gardens in Mihintale Divisional Secretary Division but there have been leaks in the bund and the main exit for about eight years. ”Due to the leaks, the farmers have not been able to cultivate their paddy fields and lands. We offer our thanks to the Government of Japan for approving this project, on behalf of the farmer communities there. After the rehabilitation of the tank, about 350 acres of paddy field will be cultivated, moreover, water will also be provided to about 1,000 acres of home garden.”
Mr. Hobo said that Japan is not only looking at strengthening economic assistance, but also working to support tourism in Sri Lanka. He noted that tourists from Japan had increased by 30% over the past year. "We want more trade and economic ties,” he said. Responding to a question on whether he's happy with Sri Lanka's post war development, he noted that compared to other nations, the achievements after the conflict is smooth.