Sri Lanka eyes diaspora funds to revive war zone

April 10, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has said it plans to entice the Tamil diaspora to invest in reviving the war-ravaged north and has set up a separate division to oversee all rehabilitation activities.

“The institutional impediments to commencing productive activities in all sectors of the province will also be addressed gradually.”

The government is preparing cost estimates for the entire programme and expects to seek foreign donor aid, the bank said. The government is considering a range of reconstruction activity to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by the 25-year-long ethnic war, the central bank said.

These include bridges, roads and railways with the aim of reconnecting the north with the rest of the island.

They also include incentives to encourage small business to ensure income-generating livelihoods for people, many of whom have to be resettled after being displaced by fighting, the bank said in its annual report for 2008.

“In order to complement these efforts, measures will also be taken to attract investment and business interest from the northern province diaspora to convert their accumulated financial and human capital into the development process.”

The gover