India is set to provide financial assistance and technical expertise to the most vulnerable section among the Sri Lankan Tamils so that they can build their own houses. The project is expected to be launched on October 2. This is part of New Delhi’s commitment to build 50,000 houses in Sri Lanka for the ethnic minorities. The vulnerable section is expected to include women, elderly, those suffering from illness, and the economically weaker section.
Broad contours of the project was discussed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa when they met here recently for the first detailed discussions after over two years. They also reviewed bilateral relations and conditions of Tamils, following the UN Human Rights Council resolution in April.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo, in consultation with the Lankan government, is monitoring the project that will benefit internally displaced persons and Indian-origin Tamils. For the IDPs, 1,000 houses each in northern and eastern province will be constructed on land owned by the beneficiary. For Indian-origin Tamils, 4,000 houses will be constructed in various tea estates in the central and Uva provinces.(IE)