India has said its commitment of $3 billion in development assistance to Sri Lanka is inspired by rationale of South-South Cooperation, underscoring that New Delhi’s “unique” development cooperation with Colombo is built on foundations of political understanding and geographic realities.
“Sri Lanka has a special place in Indian hearts, given the time-tested bonds, going back almost to the very beginning of recorded history in the subcontinent. Our relationship is built upon the strong foundations of a shared cultural and socio-economic heritage and extensive people-to-people interactions over millennia,” India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu said.
Participating in the Peace building Commission Informal Meeting on Sri Lanka here last week, Naidu said India’s development cooperation with Sri Lanka is “unique” and is built on foundations of political understanding, a historic past, geographic realities and socio-cultural empathy.
“India’s commitment of $3 billion in development assistance to Sri Lanka is entirely based on the priorities set out by the Government and the people of Sri Lanka,” he said, adding that these development projects, guided and inspired by the rationale of South-South Cooperation, focus especially on capacity-building, human resources development, uplifting of weaker sections as well as infrastructure development.
India’s portfolio of development projects encompasses virtually all major sectors of the economy, including housing, infrastructure, education, health, agriculture, fisheries, industry, handicrafts, culture and sports.
Naidu noted that the development projects have been widely appreciated for their transparent approach and timely implementation through recourse to local materials and manpower, in a manner that supports the local economy.
The diplomat reiterated India’s commitment to stand with Sri Lanka in its efforts to build a future that accommodates the aspirations of all sections of society for “a life of equality, justice, and dignity and convey our sincere support and good wishes for Sri Lanka’s journey of peace, reconciliation and progress.”
Naidu said the collaboration between Sri Lanka and the Peace building Commission, operating under the principle of national ownership, is a classic example of a fruitful partnership.
The development of the Peace building Priority Plan (PPP) by the Sri Lankan Government in close consultation with Peace building Support Office, UN Country Team and civil society representatives in November 2015, has had a multiplier effect in galvanizing on Sri Lankan governments efforts.
“The continued commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to peace building and transitional justice is evident from its recent decision to co-sponsor a two-year extension to implement the Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 that established the framework by which the government, victims and civil society can address the root causes of the past conflict,” Naidu said, referring to the resolution adopted by the HRC on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.
Naidu said the establishment of the Office for Missing Persons and the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons, and the budget allocation of ₹11.3 billion for reconciliation efforts in 2018 and ₹15.3 billion in 2019 demonstrates the Sri Lankan governments strong commitment to lasting and sustainable peace.
The introduction of the UN Joint Programme for Peace (JPP) in Sri Lanka aimed at harnessing assistance from multiple partners for strategic, coherent and sustainable support in the areas of transitional justice, reconciliation, good governance and durable resettlement should be supported by the international community, he added.