New Year Tidings

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

The Swedish government on Monday agreed to lend Rs. 3.083 bn towards economic and social development projects.
Spread over a three-year period starting 2003, this is the largest ever grant assistance allocated to Sri Lanka under Swedens new country assessment strategy.rn

rnldblquote The new country assistance strategy is broadly built on peace, democracy, human rights and the promotion of pro-poor economic development,
dblquote Finance Minister, K N Choksy told a news conference.rn

rnSwedish assistance to Sri Lanka over the past 40 years averaged around Rs. 670 mn annually. But with the onset of the peace process, the annual figure has now jumped to over a billion rupees.rn

rnIn the fields of peace, democracy and human rights, Swedish aid would focus on developing the judicial system and rule of law.rn

rnIn the areas of pro-poor economic development, financial assistance would focus on developing small and medium industries, vocational training, transport, rebuilding infrastructure in the Nort