Sri Lanka’s president raps donors for slow progress in post tsunami work

In a serious indictment on the international community, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has rapped donors for not repatriating funds and delaying post-tsunami reconstruction work, her office said in a statement on Saturday. In a serious indictment on the international community, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has rapped donors for not repatriating funds and delaying post-tsunami reconstruction work, her office said in a statement on Saturday. Following the Dec. 26 tragedy, international lenders and non-governmental organisations (NGO) flocked in droves promising funds to rebuild infrastructure along the island’s tsunami hit coastline.

Nearly 31,000 people died and millions were left homeless and the government estimated around US$ 3.2 billion was needed to rebuild. Foreign donors are expected to foot bulk of the repair bill.

But lengthy procurement processes of donor agencies and NGO’s “were delaying the reconstruction process, while others are yet to channel funds to Sri Lanka,” Kumaratunga said in her address to delegates at the Global Consortium on tsunami recovery on Thursday.

She urged donors to speed up their projects “as the people of Sri Lanka were questioning what had happened to the contri