India and Sri Lanka on 13 January 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to construct rain harvesting systems in the northern Jaffna District. The project will be executed at an expense of Sri Lankan Rupees (SLR) 30 crore.
The MoU was signed by Arindam Bagchi, Acting High Commissioner of India in the presence of Abdul Hameed Mohamed Fowzie, State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation of Sri Lanka.
Highlights of the project
• It envisages construction of rainwater harvesting systems for 3000 households in selected divisions of Tamil majority Jaffna District.
• The scope of the project also includes training of the households on operation and maintenance of the systems.
• The project aims at assisting people by supporting resettlement efforts focused on reintegrating internally displaced families in Jaffna. The support includes providing clean drinking water supply facility to households.
The grant was earlier approved by the Union Government in response to a request received from the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation of Government of Sri Lanka.
As per reports, the beneficiaries of the project will be identified by Sri Lankan Government in consultation with the Union Government. The selected beneficiaries would include women headed families and recently resettled families.
India-Sri Lanka relations
The two nations, namely India and Sri Lanka shares cordial and friendly relations with each other. But the cordial relation was affected due to the Sri Lankan Civil War and by the failure of Indian intervention during the war. If we talk about History, then the two nations are also interlinked historically as about 70 per cent of Sri Lankans follow the Theravada Buddhism to this day. Traditional Sri Lankan chronicles, like the Dipavamsa, suggests that Buddhism was introduced into Sri Lanka in the 4th century BC by Venerable Mahinda, the son of Indian Emperor Ashoka. Mahinda visited Lanka during the reign of Sri Lanka's King Devanampiya Tissa.
In addition to it, the India is the only neighbour of Sri Lanka, the nation lies in the Indian Ocean. The two nations occupy a strategic position in South Asia are separated by the Palk Strait.