giving Rs. 6 b. for Tiger areas
Country director insists LTTE
a key stakeholder
By Tyron Devotta
The World Bank will channel six billion rupees through
State agencies for the rebuilding of houses in LTTE-controlled areas
but will consult the LTTE on the disbursement of funds, a senior
official said yesterday.
Bank Country Director Peter Harrold told The Sunday Times the projects
were for tsunami victims and those displaced in the two decades
of war. He said the World Bank was considering the LTTE as a key
have often been roasted by sections of the media and the Patriotic
National Movement because they considered our consultation with
the LTTE inappropriate.
the fact that there is an officially recognized LTTE-controlled
area, a kind of unofficial state, and since it is a party to the
ceasefire agreement with the Government, the LTTE has the status
of a legitimate stakeholder," he said.
Mr. Harrold said it would be naïve for anybody, including the
Government, to think that they could successfully carry out operations
in the North and East without having a dialogue with the LTTE or
without bringing it in as a stakeholder.
World Bank grant to the LTTE-controlled area is part of an overall
aid package to Sri Lanka for the tsunami-affected and internally
displaced people. The overall aid will be about 22.5 billion rupees
which will be partly a grant and partly a loan on soft terms.
this amount, about 15 billion rupees is for the tsunami-affected
and more than 70 % of this will be spent for rehabilitation and
building of houses in the North and East.
Harrold said this provisional support from the World Bank had to
be driven by needs and not politics. "This is a human disaster
and the fact of the matter is that the housing damage by the tsunami
disproportionately hit the North-East."
the total, 7.5 billion rupees has been allocated for people displaced
by the war. "A lot of it will be used in the Wanni and the
Jaffna peninsula," Mr. Harrold said.
you accept the basic rationale as to why the World Bank is around
-- to alleviate poverty -- you will have to accept that we will
work in these areas where the largest numbers of poor exist. And
if we are going to work in the North and East, then it is only right
and proper to talk to the LTTE and engaging with it can only be
good for the peace process in Sri Lanka," the World Bank Country