India to build houses for Sri Lanka’s displaced TamilsJune 9th, 2010 - 8:45 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) With over 50,000 displaced Tamil civilians remaining in relief camps in Sri Lanka, India Wednesday announced a major initiative to build 50,000 houses for what the government calls internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the war-ravaged northern and eastern provinces of the island nation.
After wide-ranging discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao disclosed a host of initiatives taken by India for reconstruction of the war-ravaged provinces after a decades-old insurgency ended last May.
“We will build 50,000 houses for the displaced persons in northern and eastern provinces in Sri Lanka. This would be done with the Indian assistance,” said Rao. India will also assist in the rebuilding of rail networks in these provinces, she said. Rajapaksa warmly welcomed India’s initiative.
According to the Sri Lankan government, around 50,000 displaced Tamils continue to live in relief camps over a year after the Sri Lankan troops militarily crushed the insurgency led by Tamil Tigers.
India has been deeply involved in the reconstruction of Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern provinces, the war theatre, and the resettlement of those worst hit by the conflict that bled the country for over a quarter century.
Last year, India announced a grant of Rs.500 crore (11 milliion USD) for humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and resettlement of IDPs.