Ready to do more to help reconstruction in Tamil areas:Krishna

SM Krishna
Kilinochchi, Jan 18: S M Krishna on Wednesday used his visit to this former LTTE bastion, the first by any Indian leader in recent years, to assure the war-weary Tamils of northern Sri Lanka of India's unflinching support and help as they pick up their lives following decades of bloodshed.

The External Affairs Minister distributed newly-built houses and renovated schools, constructed with Indian assistance, and said India was willing to provide more help for their development of the war-torn region.

Arriving in this town, that still carries the scars of the three-decade-old ethnic conflict, by a helicopter from capital Colombo, Krishna also handed over high-tech medical equipments worth Rs 1.5 crore to the District Central Hospital here which attracts patients from the three northern districts of Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu.

The Minister, who was accompanied by his counterpart G L Peiris, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Small Industries Minister and Tamil leader Douglas Devananda, asserted that India remains fully committed towards the rehabilitation, resettlement and well-being of displaced persons in the Northern Province.

Inaugurating the first of the 79 renovated schools, that were badly damaged due to the war between the Sri Lankan Army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Krishna said the project was aimed at delivering a facelift to basic educational infrastructure of the region.

"I am happy to note that as a result of this intervention families will be able to send their children to schools, and students will have a decent learning environment offering them a better future," Krishna said.

"India remains fully committed towards rehabilitation, resettlement and well-being of displaced persons in the Northern Province. We stand ready to do more," he said.

The Minister also distributed five houses to the beneficiaries and documents of other 12 houses to the district authority. The houses were built by the Indian Government as part of its pilot project to build 1,000 houses for the displaced Tamil civilians.

The concrete houses, which have a small hall, bed room, a kitchen and a bathroom have been built at 'Ariviyal Nagar' here and Krishna visited one of the houses and interacted with the residents.

He said the critical medical equipment to improve the standard of medical care and obviate the need to refer cases for treatment to Jaffna or Colombo via ambulances. Similar equipment has also been provided to the Mullaitivu District General Hospital, the Minister said.

He added that India has supported other projects in the area of health-care, like providing emergency medical relief and organising artificial limb refitment camps immediately after the end of the war as also by donating medical equipment to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.

India has recently approved the proposal for construction of 200 bed ward complex at the District General Hospital, Vavuniya.

India has been supporting other projects for rehabilitation, resettlement and well-being of displaced persons in the Northern Province, the Minister said.


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