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Rs 203 million Indian assistance for Sri Lanka's war widows

Colombo, Jun 2 - India has provided assistance worth Rs 203 million to Sri Lanka for rebuilding the lives of war affected women and their families in the country's eastern province, a senior Indian official said here today.

"The assistance is very important as it would rebuild the lives of war affected women and their families.

"Its objective is economic empowerment of women by imparting employable livelihood skills, capacity building among war affected women in vocational trades and assistance in creating sustainable livelihood activities," said Ashok K Kantha, the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.

This is part of continued Indian assistance extended towards rehabilitation and reconstruction of Sri Lanka's former battle zones. An agreement to provide assistance and implementation support for establishment of a trade facilitation centre and a community learning centre at Batticaloa has been signed under this technical grant.

The Indian assistance aims at the overall improvement of socio-economic indicators in the eastern province. The grant could also be extended to cover other areas of the nation, Kantha said.

An estimated 49,000 women in the eastern province were left widowed by the 37-year-long civil war. At least 40,000 more widows are estimated to be in the northern province according to government statistics.

The civil war ended on May 19, 2009 with the killing of rebel LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran by the security forces. 

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