Sri Lanka’s private sector must lead post-war revival: UNDP

May 10, 2009 (LBO) – Re-building Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged north and east should be eventually driven by the private sector, rather than an unsustainable donor-financed state sector, a senior United Nations Development Agency (UNDP) official said.

Douglas Keh, head of UNDP in Sri Lanka, also said good governance and a government commitment to devolving adequate power to minority Tamils to ensure a lasting solution to the conflict would be critical in attracting aid and investment.

“People don’t realize that without the integral involvement of the private sector post-war recovery usually does not get-off the ground,” said Keh.

“The importance of the private sector in post-conflict recovery speaks for itself.

“In no post-recovery setting in any part of the world has the recovery effort been sustainable in the medium term without leadership from the private sector.”

The fundamental importance of the private sector in post-war development is very often overlooked by policy makers, said Keh.

Sri Lanka’s 30 years of ethnic conflict which ravaged the northern and eastern districts is on the verge of coming to an end with remnants of Tamil Tiger guerrillas encircled by government forces in a small patch of land on the nor