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Sept 10, 2010 (LBO) – The United States aid agency has suspended a programme to train youth in Sri Lanka’s former northern war zone for jobs in the outsourcing industry, an American lawmaker who opposed the project said. Congressman Tim Bishop said he hailed the suspension of the 10 million US dollar training project by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) which he alleged deprived Americans of work.

The USAID’s proposed pilot program would have helped train 3,000 people in northern Sri Lanka where employment and training is needed after the end of a 30-year ethnic war in May 2009.

The training was to have been in information technology, business process outsourcing, and call centre support with the workers then being employed by outsourcing firms providing services to American firms seeking to reduce labour costs.

The USAID has said earlier it was teaming with leading BPO IT and English language training companies to establish professional IT and English skills development training centres in five districts in northern Sri Lanka.

The US aid agency itself has not issued a public statement on the suspension of the training programme.

But Congressman Bishop in a statement quoted a le