The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Mr. Takehiko Nakao called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning at the President’s House.
During the discussion, President Rajapaksa briefed Mr. Nakao on Sri Lanka’s post-war development. The President explained how the Government immediately attended to the resettlement of the internally displaced persons and the rehabilitation of ex-combatants.
“The war was never against the Tamil community, it was against terrorism,” President Rajapaksa said.
President Rajapaksa also described the development projects the Government undertook immediately after the war to develop the Northern Province.
“You must go and see the development yourself,” the President said to Mr. Nakao.
Sri Lanka joined the ADB as a founding member in 1966. According to the ADB, from then until the end of last year, the Bank has provided a total of $6.17 billion in lending and $358 million in grants. The ADB supports Sri Lanka in the sectors of energy, roads, water supply and sanitation, education and skills development, post-conflict reconstruction and water resource management.
“Sri Lanka’s social indicators are among the best in South Asia,” the ADB states on its website. “The country has achieved near universal literacy, and has a comparatively low poverty level. Economic growth has been steady since the military conflict ended, but slowed in 2012. Growth had, however, picked up strongly again by the third quarter of 2013.”
Director General of ADB’s South Asia Department Mr. Juan Miranda, the Country Director of ADB’s Sri Lanka Resident Mission Ms. Sri Widowati and other officials from the ADB also joined the discussion.
Sri Lankan officials who joined the meeting consist of the following: Senior Minister of International Monetary Cooperation Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Mr. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Water Supply and Drainage Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Economic Development Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Power and Energy Mrs. Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Mr. Dullus Alahapperuma, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Planning and Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Mr. Ajith Nivard Cabraal.