The Government has noted World Bank Country Director Peter Harrold`s statement where he has apologised if his remarks have caused any misunderstanding, Foreign Secretary H.M.G.S. Palihakkara said yesterday.
Mr. Palihakkara refused to elaborate on the controversy revolving around the interview given by Mr. Harrold to The Sunday Times a fortnight ago where he referred to the existence of an `unofficial state` under LTTE-controlled areas in the north and the east.
Mr. Harrold also said the LTTE was a `legitimate stakeholder` in post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction. World Bank headquarters in Washington, however, made it clear that the Bank would not be giving funds direct to the LTTE.
Mr. Harrold left unannounced for an Asian Development Bank (ADB) tsunami relief conference in Manila this week, fuelling speculation he had been summoned by his regional bosses for a dressing down for speaking out of turn.
The Bank`s local spokesperson Chulie De Silva refused to comment. Meanwhile, the JVP and the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) this week accused Mr. Harrold of being a `liar` and called for his expulsion from the country.