direct aid to LTTE, says World Bank
The World Bank has reassured it would not be providing direct funding
to the LTTE, despite speculation that it was preparing to implement
its proposed development programmes in the uncleared areas with
spokesman for the World Bank office in Colombo told The Sunday Times
they would remain with the original position that all funding would
be channeled through the Central government.
controversy came after World Bank country director Peter Harrold
this week visited the LTTE in the north and handed over a Tamil
translation of the Country Assistance Strategy which covers projects
to be introduced in the northern and eastern provinces, including
the uncleared areas.
the meeting, the LTTE's peace secretariat in a statement said that
discussions took place between Mr. Harrold and LTTE Political Wing
leader S.P.Thamilselvan on removing 'impediments in the delivery
of humanitarian assistance in the absence of the right mechanism'.
Tamilselvan had pointed out that the delay on the part of the government
to resume negotiations on the basis of the ISGA proposals was seriously
viewed by the Tamil people who had been denied the dividends of
peace, the report said.
statement quoted Mr. Harrold as telling Mr. Thamilselvan that the
World Bank was aware of the necessity of institutionalising the
ISGA. But, on arrival in Colombo the World Bank in a statement said
Mr. Harrold had referred to the Tokyo declaration which stated that
'assistance by the donor community would be closely linked to substantial
and parallel progress in the peace process'.
World Bank Colombo office will this week also be writing to the
National Patriotic Movement, spelling out its position about the
funding and clearing doubts of the World Bank allocating any funds
to the LTTE.
NPM had written to Mr. Harrold that it was worried that the 2004
development plan including the continuation of the humanitarian
aid was handed over by him to the LTTE political wing leader.
NPM said the "World Bank is a lending organization recognized
throughout the world. It often deals with sovereign states. Never
before have we heard about the World Bank extending financial aid
to a terrorist organization anywhere in the world or officially
presenting its reports to such organizations. As the ban on the
LTTE was lifted by the previous UNP government it is true that it
is now not an officially proscribed organization in Sri Lanka.”