May 19, Jaffna: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government will take measures to construct an expressway to connect the northern districts of Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee with Badulla in the central hills.
"In a decision to develop infrastructure facilities we have proposed that an expressway connecting Jaffna, Mannar, Trincomalee and Badulla should be built," the Prime Minister said participating in a function on Friday to declare open the new building of the Secretariat of Mannar District.
The four-storied administrative building was constructed at a cost of Rs. 305 million with the funds from the provisions of the central government for constructing. Another Rs. 11 million has been spent on equipment and other devices.
The foundation for the building was laid in 2014 but the construction commenced in 2015 under the new government.
Speaking at the occasion, the Premier said that through coexistence and a political solution it will be possible to generate sustainable development in the war-torn region.
He said a large number of lives of people including war heroes were lost during the war.
"It was citizens of Sri Lanka who fought on both sides, not foreigners. Innocent people died. Let's give merits to those who died," he said.
The Premier stressed that there cannot be another war in this country. After creating reconciliation a political solution should be obtained, he said.
"When the LTTTE controlled this area the youth had to work under them since there was no other alternative. They should not be isolated and we should help them. Therefore, development is what is required first."
"In a decision to develop infrastructure facilities we have proposed that an expressway connecting Jaffna, Mannar, Trincomalee and Badulla should be built. We hope to build houses too."
Special tax relief will be given to industries that come to the North, he said adding that tourism and Fisheries industries will be further developed. All of these will be successful only if through reconciliation a political solution is obtained, he reiterated.
The Prime Minister pointed out that solutions however cannot be found through racism and religionism. The people of the country expect a political solution for long term peace. Everyone should work together for its achievement. It cannot be reached through Sinhala Tamil Muslim extremism or religionism, he said.
The Prime Minister emphasized that anyone can express their views but if anyone attempts to intimidate others under the guise of freedom of expression to spread racism and religionism, then the Government will have to enforce the law against them.
The PM also handed over land ownership certificates to the people of the Mannar district at the occasion. The presentation of Swashakthi loans to entrepreneurs also took place under the patronage of the Prime Minister.
Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, Ministers Sagala Ratnayake, Vajira Abeywardena, D.M. Swaminathan, State Minister Mrs. Vijayakala Maheswaran, MPs, and other government officials were present at the occasion.