Iran ‘willing’ to share nuclear technology with Sri Lanka, ups aid

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 August 2008, 18:45 GMT]
Iran is willing to share nuclear technology for peaceful purposes with Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told The Island newspaper. Mottaki, who was in Colombo to attend the 15th SAARC Summit told The Island, that Iran and Sri Lanka are long standing friends and Tehran was willing to assist Colombo in all fields, including uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes. He also called for the establishment of an Asia parliament on the lines of the European Parliament as a first step towards regional integration. Iran has outpaced Japan as Sri Lanka’s biggest donor this year.

Asked about allegations that Iran, was helping Sri Lanka because it has no friends in the world, Mottaki dismissed them as ridiculous. "Ours is a friendship based on mutual trust and understanding. To impute ulterior motives is mischievous to say the least" he said

"Iran is sincerely committed to the development of Sri Lanka, whom we consider to be a true friend," he said.

"Our commitment has already been proved by a pledge of over US$ 450 million in assistance for several Sri Lankan projects, including the Sapugaskanda oil refinery and Uma Oya irrigation scheme," Mottaki said.

The reciprocal visits of Presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mahinda Rajapaksa to each others' countries, bear ample testimony to the solid friendship that has stood the test of time, he observed.

"Iran, wants to expand economic and commercial ties with all SAARC members including Sri Lanka. We can help the region develop its energy resources and food production among other things."

Calling for the establishment of an Asian Parliament on the lines of the European Parliament, he said that it could be the first step towards greater integration, which is so vital for development.

Meanwhile, Iran has emerged as Sri Lanka's biggest donor this year, knocking Japan from the position of being the war-torn island's main benefactor, The Economic Times quoted the finance ministry in Colombo as saying this week.

In the five months to May this year, Sri Lanka has received USD 1.05 billion in foreign aid, of which project loans accounted for 959 million and grants for 90 million, the treasury said in its mid-year fiscal report.

Western donors have been threatening to cut aid to Sri Lanka because of worsening human rights abuses and the escalating civil war with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The treasury said foreign aid would have almost halved if Iran had not chipped in with USD 450 million to build a hydro power project and upgrade the island's sole oil refinery.

Other key donors included Denmark (USD 155.2 million), India (USD 109.2 million), the Asian Development Bank (USD 90 million), World Bank (USD 43.1 million) and Japan (USD 42.2 million).

Japan and the Asian Development Bank have in the past been the biggest lenders to the island.


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=26565