External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has said a pilot project to construct 1,000 houses for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), ie. Tamils, in northern and eastern Sri Lanka will begin soon.
In a letter to Communist Party of India MP from Tamil Nadu P. Lingam, he said the construction of the dwelling units was part of India's commitment to build 50,000 houses for the IDPs. Besides, to revive the agricultural activities in northern Sri Lanka, India was procuring 500 tractors and other agricultural implements to be distributed among IDPs, and also dispatching seeds for the “Maha” season.
“You may rest assured that the Centre is continuing to monitor the situation to assist in the welfare and rehabilitation of the IDPs and to assist in the reconstruction of northern and eastern Sri Lanka,” he said.
Besides assisting the island government in the welfare of the IDPs — providing Rs. 500 crore, setting up an Indian emergency field hospital, sending de-mining teams, supplying 7,800 tonnes of shelter and roofing material and 70,000 agricultural starter-packs and gifting 4 lakh cement bags — India was also assisting it in railway infrastructure projects, KKS harbour rehabilitation, setting up vocational training centres and development of civil infrastructure.
Keywords: Sri Lankan Tamils