Aid commitments to Sri Lanka intact - Media and Information
COLOMBO: Refuting allegations of opposition political parties and
sections of the media, Media and Information Minister Lakshman Yapa
Abeywardena asserted that there has not been any drop in foreign aid and
assistance to the Government.
Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing at the Government
Information Department in Narahenpita yesterday, Abeywardena in response
to a query from a journalist, pointed out that all allegations
pertaining to a decline in aid, were unfounded and based on hearsay as
against official statements originating from the proper, official and
diplomatic channels of the countries concerned.
“There is absolutely no problem in the sphere of foreign aid and
assistance to the Government as alleged by certain parties with vested
interests” he said.
He said Japanese Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi during his recent visit
to the island had assured that there would not be any curtailment of
Japanese assistance pledged for Sri Lanka.
The Indian Government too is highly impressed and in favour of the
13th Amendment to the Constitution, which the Sri Lanka Government
intends to implement via the APRC proposals. “Furthermore, for the first
time we had opened a diplomatic mission in Palestine recently, after
over 50years, and thereby opened a gateway for enhanced business and
trade links with the Middle East,” he said .
The first batch of Palestinian tourists have just arrived in the
country and more are expected in the future. “Therefore, based on all
these recent developments, the Government is confident that there is no
imminent danger whatsoever,” he added.
Minister Abeywardena also pointed out that the environment to hold a
fair and free election in the East, is by no means unsatisfactory in
comparison to the environment which had prevailed in other parts of the
country during similar periods, including the South.
“The least number of complaints have been reported in the run-up to
the elections in the East to-date, comparatively with the elections of
the past,” he added.
In reply to a question on the Commission Report headed by Nimal
Siripala de Silva, on the incident relating to Minister Mervyn Silva’s
entry to the Rupavahini Corporation, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena
stated that two independent inquiries were being carried out on the
incident. Nimal Siripala De Silva’s report would be out by next week.
Investigations are also being carried out on the laxity in security
as over 300 outsiders not belonging to the Corporation staff, had been
within the Rupavahini premises at the time of the said incident.
“This was certainly a lapse in security. Such a situation could have
well been avoided in a crucial national institution as the Rupavahini
Corporation. Such a situation should not arise again in the future,” he