President calls for accelerating North, East development

President Maithripala Sirisena while hailing the success of the government’s programme to promote reconciliation and co-existence yesterday stressed the importance of expediting development activities in the North and East with an objective of providing dividends to the people.The President added that the government’s drive aiming at promoting reconciliation and coexistence among the people in the North and East has proved successful.

President Sirisena lamented that the people were not well informed about the massive projects launched by the government over the past three and half years for the development of livelihood and infrastructure in the North and East.The President said that development in the North and East had suffered a setback due to the protracted terrorist conflict and the government is determined to give priority to bring development to these provinces, while uplifting the livelihood of the people.President Sirisena was speaking at the first meeting of Special Presidential Task Force to direct, expedite and monitor development activities in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

This Special Presidential Task Force was appointed by the President in an extraordinary Gazzette Notification published on June 5, 2018. The Task Force chaired by the President consists of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, 15 Cabinet Ministers, Governors, the Chief Ministers of the two provinces together with the Tri Forces Commanders.

The Task Force will review also review the development projects so far launched in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and accelerate the development process. It will also initiate and formulate new plans, programmes and subjects targeting sectors and groups that need priority attention.A number of projects to be launched in the North and East on priority basis have been identified and they would be implemented soon.

It has been planned to commence the construction of 25,000 out of 50,000 houses for the people in the North and East in August. Construction of another 10,000 houses is to begin in January 2019.The road network programme covering a length of 1847 kms in these two provinces will get underway soon. The Myliaddy fishing harbour which would greatly benefit the fishing community in the Jaffna Peninsula is also to be developed soon.

The Northern and Eastern Provinces are to be brought under a massive infrastructure development drive with special emphasis on the development of agri, irrigation, economic education and health sectors.Over 20 projects would be implemented which would help uplift the people’s livelihood in the two provinces. The sugar factory in Ampara, National Paper Mill in Batticaloa, Rice Mill in Batticaloa are also to be revived under this programme thus boosting the economy of these areas.