Sri Lanka seeks foreign cash for war-displaced

October 5, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka will tap foreign donors to raise more cash to look after over 250,000 people displaced by its offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels, a minister said Monday. “We are drawing up a fresh appeal to meet our running costs next year that will include funds for livelihood support and resettlement projects,” Minister of Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters in the capital Colombo.

Sri Lanka already received 225 million dollars in aid pledges just before the fighting ended in May to look after civilians who lost their homes, he said.

Some 195 million dollars of that pledge money has been received so far, Samarasinghe added.

He declined to say how much Sri Lanka was hoping to receive for next year.

But the sum sought from foreign donors would be “much, much more than the 225 million dollars raised this year,” the minister said.

He made the remarks before a meeting attended by representatives of the Sri Lankan government, various UN agencies, the Red Cross and diplomatic officials.

The money is given both directly and through multilateral organisations.

Sri Lanka has detained at least 250,000 Tamils i