India increases aid to Sri Lanka

2 March 2013 01:40 am - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Even as the anti-Sri Lanka mood in Tamil Nadu is getting more belligerent, the Centre has increased its annual grant to the island nation in the Union Budget. The allocation has gone up to Rs 500 crore for 2013-2014 from Rs 290 crore last year. It was Rs 181.94 crore in 2011-2012. The Budget has allocated Rs 5,550 crore as aid for foreign governments and organizations.

The grants for Sri Lanka are meant for rehabilitation of internally displaced Tamils, but parties in Tamil Nadu have accused the government there of diverting the Indian aid for other purposes. The issue could be raised again with the two main Dravidian parties, the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK, using it to corner the UPA government. The move comes at a time when political parties in the state have stepped up their offensive against the Lankan government for alleged war crimes.

Recently, UK's Channel 4 had released pictures allegedly showing Balachandran, son of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, minutes before and after he was killed towards the end of the decades-long civil war in 2009. Former Indian ambassador to Italy K P Fabian pointed out that increasing the grant to Sri Lanka was important. "It is not only in the interest of Sri Lanka. It is also in our interest. The Indo-Sri Lanka relationship is important." Sri Lanka should also understand that there is a growing international concern about the manner in which it has dealt with the Tamil question, he said.

Under the non-plan category, the Indian government has proposed to donate Rs 4,143 crore to various foreign governments and organizations, besides Rs 1,406 crore under the plan category to Afghanistan, Bhutan and Myanmar. But unlike 2012-13, when the government allocated Rs 550 crore to Bhutan and Maldives, in the budget for 2013-14, there is no loan component to any country and all the money is treated as grant alone.

Prof V Suryanarayana, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Asian Studies, said India has committed to help the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka in recent years. "Housing scheme and other development projects have been announced by the Indian government with the good intention of helping Tamils," Suryanarayana told TOI. But most of the projects have been getting delayed due to 'non-cooperative attitude' of the Sri Lankan government, he said. "For instance, housing for internally displaced Tamils have been delayed due to non-allotment of land by the local government," Suryanarayana said.

He also pointed to the speedy progress of Chinese projects in Sri Lanka. "The projects of the Chinese government are being completed quickly with the co-operation of the Sri Lankan government," he said.

In another strategic move, the Centre has increased grants for all the neighboring countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. The Indian government has not allocated any aid for Pakistan for the last three years. "It is important for India to promote development in its neighbourhood in SAARC region as well as African nations. Allocating funds to neighbours is not to compete with China. In our own foreign policy, we have expanded system of technical and financial assistance in recent years," said Fabian. (The Times of India)
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  Comments - 10

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  • tjeyar Saturday, 02 March 2013 12:00 AM

    most of the Indian people r don't have enough food.what a shame.But India don't give money to ltte as u did past. via DM Android App

    OMG Saturday, 02 March 2013 04:59 AM

    I did not know that we were so poor that we had to get aid from India where people are still starving to death.

    Where do we get the next aid from? Somalia?

    Siva Saturday, 02 March 2013 12:00 AM

    Indian shouldn't have done this when they have so many internal issues. via DM Android App

    robi Saturday, 02 March 2013 06:24 AM

    INDIA must have learned this from USA.

    By doing so, INDIA trying to shows that they are smart..

    reader Saturday, 02 March 2013 12:00 AM

    please dont accept this via DM Android App

    nicky karunarathna Saturday, 02 March 2013 02:26 AM

    We should not take those poisonous aid from those people who can see the truth. It is of course poisonous cheles.

    Ranjit Saturday, 02 March 2013 03:26 AM

    Is it approved by TN?

    Gamarala Saturday, 02 March 2013 08:02 AM

    Take it. Dont refuse any aid. Just do not thank them for it.

    Lobo Monday, 04 March 2013 04:44 AM

    Is that that what they think is the price for betraying us?

    Koluwa Saturday, 02 March 2013 12:00 AM

    Where's our sovereignty? Is it ok to bully Sri Lanka on an international level, and then help SL with funds, and expect 'all is well' ? via DM Android App


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