July 31, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a special task force to accelerate the development projects launched in the war-affected North and East under his supervision and the Presidential Task Force convened for the first time at the President's Office on Monday (30).
At the meeting, the President emphasized that the development programs should be done in a systematic and efficient manner to provide the people in the region with immediate benefits.
President Sirisena said that although the government has done a great deal of work in the past three and a half years to uplift the lives of the people living in the North and the East and to develop the infrastructure, the people have not been well informed of the developments.
The President noted that the Government's efforts to build national reconciliation and co-existence among the people of the conflict-affected areas have been successful.
The head of the state emphasized that the government is giving special attention to uplift the livelihoods of the people and the development that suffered a setback due to the 26 years of war and bring the North and East in par with the other provinces.
The Special Presidential Task Force was appointed by the President in an Extraordinary Gazette 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 the progress of the development projects so far launched in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and formulate new plans, programs 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.
About 1,847 kilometers of roads will be developed in the two provinces. The Myliddy fishing harbor which would greatly benefit the fishing community in the Jaffna Peninsula is also to be developed soon.
A broad development of rural roads, drinking water, irrigation, agricultural, economic centers, schools, hospitals, health centers and all infrastructure facilities is planned.
A comprehensive program has also been launched to implement over 20 projects including the re-establishment of the Ampara Sugar Factory, National Paper Mill in Batticaloa and the Rice Mill in Batticaloa for the livelihood development of the people in the two provinces. This,
The immediate implementation of these development projects is expected to bring about a new transformation of people's lives in the two provinces.