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Where will India's aid go?

A 65 acre industrial estate in Atchuvely is to be developed bilaterally through a partnership between the Sri Lankan government and the Indian government, the Daily Mirror reported .

This is part of a range of activities Delhi is initiating to develop the war-shattered Tamil areas of the island.

India is supplying 500 four-wheel tractors to promote agriculture in the Northern Province, Sri Lankan state media reported.

Indian High Commissioner Ashok K Kantha said Delhi also plans to assist in setting up an Agriculture Research Training Centre and Agriculture Faculty in the Northern Province.

While India’s assistance is desperately needed and would be welcomed by the Tamils, it very much remains to be seen if this latest Indian largess goes the way of previous foreign aid intended for the Northeast: diverted either to the Sinhala south or appropriated by vested interests, including ruling politicians.

For example, the first batch of India's donated tractors was handed over Monday, not to people in the Northeast, but to Sri Lanka's Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.

There are as yet no details on whether it will be Jaffna based businesses which are invited to the industrial estate or whether Sinhalese companies from the south will be well placed in the Atchuvely compound.