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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 Rs. 1bn will be allocated as an outright grant for rehabilitation and reconstruction in 2004, Niranjan Deva Aditya EU Parliamentarian said in a statement this week. rn

rnLast years EU budget for Sri Lanka was Rs. 2 bn. In addition Sri Lanka received Rs. 1.5bn in Aid of displaced people and Rs. 1bn under the Humanitarian Office Programme. rn

rnHuman rights received Rs. 500 mn, and the Rapid Reaction Mechanism a further Rs. 250mn. rn

rnThe EU also pledged US $ 300 mn at the Tokyo Conference earlier this year that is subjected to the completion of the peace process.
The European Union will make a no-strings-attached Christmas present of Rs. 1bn to Sri Lanka for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the war torn North and East peninsula.rnrn