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Home >> World
UPDATED: 19:47, January 24, 2007
Sri Lanka to discuss development at donor forum despite violence
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Sri Lankan government hopes to take up the island's development and economic issues at an international donor forum meeting to be held in a southern resort town next week.

Dr P.B Jayasundera, the top civil servant at the Ministry of Finance, told reporters here Wednesday that the country's infrastructure development and development in the field of education were the key themes at the Development Forum 2007 to be held in Galle, the southern resort town 115 kms from here on 29 and 30 January.

"We will be discussing economic issues with our bilateral and multi-lateral donor partners. Rural infrastructure development, the knowledge economy and a review of the post-Tsunami rehabilitation work are the key subjects", Jayasundera said.

He said although the meeting would not be a pledging conference, Sri Lanka would use the occasion to discuss projects worth over 3 billion U.S. dollars which are to be implemented during the next three years.

Jayasundera said the local economy which grew at 7 percent last year should be able to notch up 8 percent growth during the next three years as a result of the development programs envisaged by the government.

The conference comes in the backdrop of escalation of violence in the island's ethnic separatist conflict with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sri Lanka's donors who pledged 4.5 billion U.S. dollars worth of development assistance linked to the progress of the Norwegian backed peace process have urged both sides to return to the negotiating table.

However the plea has gone unheeded so far as rebels and the government troops engaged in military confrontations that has seriously endangered the process of negotiations.

Jayasundera said over 50 countries and international donor representatives are set to take part in the two day event.

Source: Xinhua

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