East catalyst for people-centred progress - WB
Eastern reconstruction help assured:
The current situation in the Eastern province will enable the
implementation of development programmes in a manner that involves the
people, World Bank Managing Director Graeme Wheeler said yesterday.
“The results on the ground should be shared equally by all ethnic
groups. The Government is currently compiling a plan for the
reconstruction of the East. I urge it to develop a plan that
incorporates these characteristics,” Wheeler told a news briefing in
He remarked that it was important to complete the transition to
civilian control at the earliest opportunity, so that effective and
sustainable development activities can be more successful.
He pledged the Bank’s assistance to efforts to reconstruct the East
and other conflict-affected areas.
“The Asian region is likely to drive global economic growth for many
years to come. The region also has a very young population. With sound
economic management, and strong trade and investment linkages, Sri Lanka
would be well positioned to be able to take advantage of this dynamism,”
But there are major challenges. Inequality between the greater
Colombo area and the rest of the country is increasing. In addition, Sri
Lanka’s economic growth is slowing and it needs to addressed, he added.
“The North-East conflict remains a major obstacle for Sri Lanka to
achieve its full potential and negotiations is the way out of this
Wheeler who earlier visited Vavuniya said the conflict is an enormous
burden on both the Sri Lankan people and the country’s long-term
“It is vital to seek a political solution to the conflict as soon as
possible. This is critical to achieve greater prosperity for all Sri
He noted that Sri Lanka was successful in entering the global capital
market for the first time, raising US$ 500 million.
He was also encouraged to see that the Government’s partnership with
the World Bank is providing not only physical reconstruction and
assistance to conflict-affected communities, but also helping to repair
the fragile social fabric that has been damaged by the conflict.
He cautioned that measures should also be taken to check the high
inflation, the budget deficit and debt levels.