Empty Chest

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

The Asian Development Bank admits it has not given a cent to Sri Lanka so far, as the US$ 150 mn tsunami assistance programme will only go before its board in mid April, a top official said. The Asian Development Bank admits it has not given a cent to Sri Lanka so far, as the US$ 150 mn tsunami assistance programme will only go before its board in mid April, a top official said. “There is a big difference between committed funds and disbursement funds. The monies pledged will come, but up to now there have been zero disbursements,” ADB’s Country Director for Sri Lanka Alessandro Pio told journalists on Thursday.

The Asian tsunami left Sri Lanka with a US$ 1.8 bn reconstruction bill to repair schools, roads and hospitals, but thousands of frustrated displaced people still live in tents and temporary shelters as promised aid has to materialise.

The government’s draft plan looked wonderful – 75 miles of electric railway, 55 miles of roadways, 62 new townships and money to rebuild houses – but the grandiose scheme still remains a paper dream as promised aid is only just trickling in.

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga also complained that “not even five cents” of aid money h