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FeaturesNewsINDIAN EXTERNAL MINISTER SM KRISHNA REACHES OUT TO PEOPLE OF NORTHERN SRI LANKA

INDIAN EXTERNAL MINISTER SM KRISHNA REACHES OUT TO PEOPLE OF NORTHERN SRI LANKA

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As most of you are aware India’s minister of External Affairs SM Krishna is currently in Sri Lanka. Krishna is a Kannadiga and a former chief minister of the South Indian state of Karnataka.  A highlight of the Indian foreign ministers Lankan trip was his visit to the Northern Province where many Tamils reside. Krishna participated in many functions related to projects benefitting by India’s generous assistance and aid.

Krishna whose mother tongue Kannada like Thamizh belongs to the Dravidian school of Languages often tried to reach out to the audience by speaking in Tamil during his Northern trip.

The Indian External affairs minister made specific reference to the special relationship that exists between the people of South India and the people of Sri Lanka’s Northern province in general and those of Jaffna peninsula in particular.

The octogenarian senior minister made a conscious effort to win the hearts and minds of the Tamil people in the North.

I am reproducing three press communiqués issued by the Indian High Commission in Colombo where some of the remarks made by Mr.Krishna are publicized.

Here they are Friends-DBS Jeyaraj
 
Remarks by Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs of India, Mr. S.M. Krishna at the Ceremony for Distribution of bicycles and the Announcement of Completion of Wreck Removal in the Kankesanthurai(KKS) Port

January 18, 2012

I am extremely pleased to return to Jaffna. It also gives me immense pleasure to be part of this ceremony to mark the distribution of cycles to Internally Displaced Persons from all the five districts of the Northern Province.

I have just come from Ariyalai where I handed over the first lot of houses to beneficiaries under the Indian Housing project. This is truly the flagship project of India’s development assistance to Sri Lanka and, one of the largest grant assistance project undertaken by the Government of India in any part of the world. Prime Minister of India, His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh made the offer to construct 50,000 houses in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka during the visit of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India in June 2010.

Yesterday, Minister Peiris and I signed an MOU to construct the remaining 49,000 houses under this Project involving a grant assistance of 260 million US Dollars from India. Both sides will follow the best practices in implementation of this Project, particularly in beneficiary selection and grievance handling.

We thank the Government of Sri Lanka, particularly the Government Agents of the five districts of Northern Province and their team for assistance with critical project requirements in the pilot phase of the Project. We look forward to more such support in the coming months.

The project to distribute 10,000 bicycles to the returning IDPs in the five districts of the Northern Province will enhance and anchor their return. I extend appreciation to Sri Lankan Government for its support as also to UNHCR, which has been associated by us as an implementation partner.

There exists a special relationship between the people of the Northern Province in general and Jaffna Peninsula in particular and those of southern India.

Today, I am happy to announce the completion of wreck removal work at the KKS Harbour at a cost of 19 million US Dollars. This is expected to facilitate marine trade in Jaffna peninsula and revive economic activity in Northern Province. We stand ready to provide further grant assistance for the next phase of the project. We are undertaking rehabilitation of Achuvely Industrial Zone to create employment opportunities in Northern Province and to provide a platform for industrial development of Jaffna.

We hope the Government of Sri Lanka will develop Palaly as a civilian airport and restore its connectivity with India and within Sri Lanka. This will give tremendous fillip to the local economies in our two countries.

To redevelop the sports infrastructure of Jaffna, we have undertaken renovation of Duraiyappah Stadium. We intend to build the Jaffna Cultural Centre next to the Public Library. Last evening, I was shown the design of the proposed Centre. I am confident that this Centre will emerge as a cultural icon and help rejuvenate such activities.

Sri Lanka has emerged from three decades of armed conflict. Now peace has dawned. It is our sincere hope that the vision and leadership that resulted in an end to the armed conflict will now be employed in the quest for a genuine political settlement based on devolution of power resulting in national reconciliation among all the communities of Sri Lanka.

We have noted the constructive recommendations contained in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and look forward to their implementation. It is also our hope that the process of dialogue presently underway will lead to a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, which would create the necessary conditions for a lasting political settlement. India will do everything possible to assist in this process.

I would like to reiterate that the Government and people of India will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Government of Sri Lanka and the people of the Northern Province all possible assistance in their reconstruction efforts.

Remarks by Hon’ble EAM, India at a ceremony for distribution of bicycles in Jaffna

January 18, 2012

I am extremely pleased to return to Jaffna. It also gives me immense pleasure to be part of this ceremony to mark the distribution of cycles to Internally Displaced Persons from all the five districts of the Northern Province.

I have just come from Ariyalai where I handed over the first lot of houses to beneficiaries under the Indian Housing project. This is truly the flagship project of India’s development assistance to Sri Lanka and, one of the largest grant assistance project undertaken by the Government of India in any part of the world. Prime Minister of India, His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh made the offer to construct 50,000 houses in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka during the visit of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India in June 2010.

Yesterday, Minister Peiris and I signed an MOU to construct the remaining 49,000 houses under this Project involving a grant assistance of 260 million US Dollars from India. Both sides will follow the best practices in implementation of this Project, particularly in beneficiary selection and grievance handling.

We thank the Government of Sri Lanka, particularly the Government Agents of the five districts of Northern Province and their team for assistance with critical project requirements in the pilot phase of the Project. We look forward to more such support in the coming months.

The project to distribute 10,000 bicycles to the returning IDPs in the five districts of the Northern Province will enhance and anchor their return. I extend appreciation to Sri Lankan Government for its support as also to UNHCR, which has been associated by us as an implementation partner.

There exists a special relationship between the people of the Northern Province in general and Jaffna Peninsula in particular and those of southern India.

Today, I am happy to announce the completion of wreck removal work at the KKS Harbour at a cost of 19 million US Dollars. This is expected to facilitate marine trade in Jaffna peninsula and revive economic activity in Northern Province. We stand ready to provide further grant assistance for the next phase of the project. We are undertaking rehabilitation of Achuvely Industrial Zone to create employment opportunities in Northern Province and to provide a platform for industrial development of Jaffna.

We hope the Government of Sri Lanka will develop Palaly as a civilian airport and restore its connectivity with India and within Sri Lanka.

This will give tremendous fillip to the local economies in our two countries.

To redevelop the sports infrastructure of Jaffna, we have undertaken renovation of Duraiyappah Stadium. We intend to build the Jaffna Cultural Centre next to the Public Library. Last evening, I was shown the design of the proposed Centre. I am confident that this Centre will emerge as a cultural icon and help rejuvenate such activities.

Sri Lanka has emerged from three decades of armed conflict. Now peace has dawned. It is our sincere hope that the vision and leadership that resulted in an end to the armed conflict will now be employed in the quest for a genuine political settlement based on devolution of power resulting in national reconciliation among all the communities of Sri Lanka.

We have noted the constructive recommendations contained in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and look forward to their implementation. It is also our hope that the process of dialogue presently underway will lead to a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, which would create the necessary conditions for a lasting political settlement. India will do everything possible to assist in this process.

I would like to reiterate that the Government and people of India will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Government of Sri Lanka and the people of the Northern Province all possible assistance in their reconstruction efforts.

Remarks by Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs of India Mr. S. M. Krishna at the Handing Over of Renovated School and Completed Houses at Ariyalai Nagar I (Kilinochchi)

January 18, 2012

Hon’ble Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development,
 Hon’ble G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs,
 Hon’ble Douglas Devananda, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development,
 Hon’ble Governor of Northern Province
 Distinguished Guests
 Ladies and Gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to participate in this event marking the handing over of the first school under our project for repairs of 79 war-damaged schools in the three districts of Kilinochchi, Mulaittivu and Vavuniya in Northern Province.

The project was conceived with the objective of assisting early restoration of educational activities for children of resettled IDPs and to deliver a facelift to basic educational infrastructure of the region. I am happy to note that as a result of this intervention families will be able to send their children to schools, and students will have a decent learning environment offering them a better future.

Before coming here, in a ceremony at District General Hospital, Kilinochchi, I handed over critical medical equipment to improve the standard of medical care and obviate the need to refer cases for treatment to Jaffna or Colombo via ambulances. Similar equipment has also been provided to the Mullaitivu District General Hospital.

We have supported other projects in the area of health-care, like providing emergency medical relief and organizing artificial limbs refitment camps immediately after the end of the war as also by donating medical equipment to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital. The Government of India has also recently approved the proposal for construction of 200 bed ward complex at the District General Hospital, Vavunia. India has been supporting other projects for rehabilitation, resettlement and well-being of displaced persons in the Northern Province.

The houses that you see across the school compound have been constructed in the pilot phase for 1,000 houses under our Housing Project which was launched during my visit in November 2010. I am happy to hand over these houses to beneficiaries of Ariviyal Nagar here and at Ariyalai in Jaffna later in the day. I am sure that the lessons learnt from this pilot phase will be useful in the implementation of the next phase of the project for 49,000 houses for which Minister Peiris and I signed an MOU yesterday on behalf of our two governments to ensure smooth execution.

I would like to convey our gratitude to various agencies of the Government of Sri Lanka and other local partners who have extended necessary assistance in execution of all our projects. We look forward to their continued support.

India remains fully committed towards the rehabilitation, resettlement and well-being of displaced persons in the Northern Province. We stand ready to do more.

Thank you

18 January 2012
DBS

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