Iran becomes Sri Lanka’s biggest donor
Sri Lanka has received 1.05 billion dollars (USD) in total as foreign aid so far this year with loans for projects (959 million) and grants (90 million). This year aid from Iran has surpassed Japan. Traditionally Japan has been the biggest donor of this island nation followed by the manila biased Asian Development Bank (ADB)
The increase in aid to Sri Lanka by Iran is due to the growing friendship between the two countries. In April Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Sri Lanka to inaugurate various development projects initiated by Iran. Iran has pledged 450 million dollars to build a 150 megawatt power plant and upgrade and modernize the only oil refinery in the country.
Sri Lanka has seen a long civil war spanning more than two decades and has resumed engaging in battle with the armed forces of Liberation of Tamil Tigers Elam (LTTE) after the Norwegian brokered negotiations broke down.