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East could be model for North reconstruction

[DailyNews.lk, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 21:20 No Comment]

The East could be a strong model to rebuild the North once the fighting ends and the U.S. Government is fully committed to assist the Government in defeating terrorism to ensure it never takes root again in the East.


Addressing at an inauguration ceremony of the Journalism Diploma Program held at the Sri Lanka Press Institute yesterday, the US envoy Robert O’ Blake said the U.S. Government has a strong interest in helping to stabilize and develop the East so that the livelihoods and good governance can be established and terrorism never again allowed to take root.


After a token hand over of scholarships to 18 students from the Eastern and Uva Provinces funded by the USAID, Blake said the East could be a powerful example to rebuild the North once fighting was concluded. "Development that preserve the existing ethnic balance in the East, developing new linkages between the diverse communities of the East and the more prosperous provinces in the central and western parts of Sri Lanka will help the entire nation and could serve as a powerful example of how the North might be managed once fighting can be concluded", he added.


He asserted, even though the East was liberated there is still much work to be done to improve the daily lives of the average people, adding that he said there is a need to create job opportunities, encourage economic activity, develop educational and health sectors, as well as increase security to help all three communities find ways to live and work together that would bring about increased stability and prosperity.

One USAID initiative is Supporting Regional Governance Program (SURG). The SURG is a three year programme that will expand and improve social equity or the ability of all members of society to participate, improve local governance, increase community empowerment and enhance open dialogue.

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