India has set up a special unit, ‘the Development Co-ordination Wing’ attached to its High Commission in Colombo to oversee the development projects being funded by them here and appointed a special official to co-ordinate and supervise work in this regard, informed sources said today.
After the end of the war, India pledged assistance worth Rs.5,000 million in aid for rehabilitation and rebuilding the war affected areas in Sri Lanka. Besides, India has committed financial assistance worth US$800 million for the railway projects in the north and south.
Informed sources said India had created similar posts in the other countries such as Nepal and Afghanistan where they operate large scale projects. The new wing had been created last year.
With the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009, there has been a manifold increase in the extent of development cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.
Immediately after the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009, India up-scaled its involvement in this area and Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh announced a relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction package of Rs.500 crore (USD 105 million) for Sri Lanka. More recently, during the visit of President Rajapaksa to New Delhi from June 8-11, 2010, an announcement was made regarding the construction of 50,000 houses for displaced people in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.
Even while the conflict was on, India took the initiative of sending relief assistance in the form of family packs in November 2008 for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
This flow of assistance was continued until August 2009, and a total of 250,000 family packs containing a variety of daily use items such as clothing, utensils, essential food packets and personal hygiene items for the IDP families were supplied. (Kelum Bandara)