Credits: Karl Grobl
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From Batticaloa: Full-fledged community efforts to spark growth in the East
Now almost three years since the end of the war, Colombo is shedding its image as Sri Lanka's charming but dilapidated capital. Bursting with new energy and growth, major investments and physical improvements are evident throughout the city. But in the North and East and bordering regions, decades of conflict and economic neglect have left a legacy of distrust and hardship. The government has responded by rebuilding roads, rail, and telecommunications; business owners, citizens, and local leaders want to reconnect and catch up with the rest of the island nation. If armed conflict is to be prevented in the future, the new prosperity must be shared and balanced. Entrepreneurs and local officials hold the keys to growth and peace in these former conflict-affected towns; our staff, with the financial support of the Australian Agency for International Development, is working diligently in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Batticaloa, and 12 other towns to consolidate peace and spark private sector growth by helping local government and business to work together.