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True to Sri Lankan form ...

As ever in Sri Lanka, after the initial blaze of publicity … the state ensures that nothing that might benefit Tamils can proceed.

Last June, the Indian government’s declared intention to build 50,000 houses in the war shattered Northeast sparked much media interest, hope (in the Northeast), and controversy (in South).

Then nothing happened.

A foundation stone was finally laid in November.

But then Sri Lanka suddenly announced that most of the houses would not be new builds, but repairs. India rebutted this promptly.

Now, three months later, it’s clear Sri Lanka has again managed to stall the Indian initiative.

The ‘pilot project’ of 1,000 houses, President Mahinda Rajapaksa says, now won’t start till July - two years after Sri Lanka declared the war over.

See the Hindustan Times’ report here

Here's a reminder of Indian high commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha’s pledge in January:

"As the people of Jaffna seek to resurrect their lives after years of armed conflict, the Government and the people of India remain committed to facilitate development in the region."

See also our comment in Dec 2010: 'The state is the main obstacle to developing Tamil areas'.

 And our analysis in Jan 2011: 'Terror in Jaffna II: blocking international efforts'.

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