Sri Lanka north-east ripe for tourism, agriculture

June 04, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Eastern and Northern provinces are ripe for investment in tourism, food processing and finance with infrastructure being built to improve connectivity, officials said. Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern provinces were devastated by a 30-year war which ended last year with the military wiping out the last remnants of Tamil Tiger separatists.

“There was a lot of destruction of property and assets during the war,” economist Saman Kelegama, from Sri Lanka’s Institute of Policy Studies told an economic forum in Colombo held as part of the India International Film Awards (IIFA).

“The overall infrastructure capacity in the region is weak. The government has launched two programs to re-build infrastructure. The objective is to improve the connectivity with the north and the east.”

“Skilled labour, water supply and electricity supply will get rectified with time.”

The last stage of the war left about 300,000 people homeless. Tony Seneviratne from the organization Habitat for Humanity, said tens of thousands of new homes were needed by people.

“No one person, no single entity can do this,” he said. “Corporates can help.”

The IIFA itself was