(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Presidential Task Force to monitor the development projects conducted in Northern and Eastern provinces met under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena for the fourth time yesterday (08) at the Presidential Secretariat .
During the last two months the Task Force has been very actively engaged in their work and the President expressed his happiness over the progress achieved by the Task Force.
President Sirisena said that this new programme will be implemented in the future in a more strengthen manner, and invited all parties to join with this force to fulfill responsibilities towards this project.
The Task Force will 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.
Further, special attention was drawn regarding projects that should be implemented to provide drinking water facilities to the people in the North and the East and the Governors of the respective provinces presented information regarding the development issues prevailed in those areas and needs of the people.
At present, the process of releasing the lands occupied by the security forces in the North and East provinces to their original owners, before December 31st, is in its final stage and the progress of the works relating in this regard was also reviewed.
Accordingly, already 79.01% of state lands in the North and East occupied by the security forces and 90.02% of private lands have been released. Among the lands released, in addition to the large amount of land in the Valikamam North which were released after 27 years, schools, including Nadeswara Vidyalaya, economically important places, including Myliddy fishing harbor, religious places and several roads which were closed for nearly three decade were included.
During the meeting, special attention was also paid to the programmes launched to uplift the livelihood of the people in these areas, and discussions were also held regarding expanding the necessary facilities for the foreign investors as well as regarding the programmes implemented with the aim of revival of the industrial sector.
The progress of several development projects, including the development activities of the Elephant Pass Saltern, the reconstruction works of the Shrine of Our Lady of Madu and another several special development projects were also discussed.
Ministers and MPs, including the Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, Minister Douglas Devananda, Deputy Minister of Eastern Development, Governors, Secretary to the President Udaya R Seneviratne, public servants, heads of security forces and others participated in this meeting.