|Wednesday, 1 September 2004|
Colombo (Lankapuvath) The European Commission continues to assist Sri Lanka's rehabilitation, reconstruction and development programs, Charge de Affairs of the delegation of the European Commission to Sri Lanka Woulter Wilton told Lankapuvath in an exclusive interview.
The quantum of aid, mainly grants from the member states of the European Union, is mainly not linked to the progress of the peace process in the island. Millions of Euros have been disbursed for the development of remote areas. The European Commission recently approved a grant to implement a rural community development project in the Moneragala district, he said.
Wilton said peace is essential to achieve economic development in the country. "Therefore the European Commission has expressed concern on mass assassinations in Colombo and the Eastern Province," he said.
Wilton said Norway as peace facilitators should strictly monitor the ceasefire violations as it is an important factor to resume peace negotiations between the Government and the LTTE.
Condemning the atrocities committed by the LTTE in the recent past, he said a strict adherence to the terms of the ceasefire agreement and full respect for human rights are essential to sustain the peace process for the benefit of all communities.
Wilton said the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission should be allowed to strictly monitor the ceasefire violations and it will help resume peace talks soon.
Referring to the European Commission's aid program to Sri Lanka, Wilton said Rs. 520 million will be disbursed to provide assistance to the displaced.
He said this would help uprooted people and demobilised former soldiers to reintegrate into the social fabric as well as help them to resettle in their region of origin.
It will focus on operations for the reintegration and rehabilitation in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa and Puttalam districts.
Produced by Lake House