Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Cnandrakanthan, on Saturday, said the government should vest full powers in the Provincial Council in the utilisation of the lands for development of tourism projects in the East Coast.
Addressing the members of the Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators Association (SLITO), at their Annual General Meeting held in Trincomalee, where he was Chief Guest, Chandrakanthan said `We have no objection to outsiders getting involved in projects here, but it should be done with our concurrence since we know best about the area and what is suitable.
`We need to provide more employment opportunities to the youth in the province and we would like more and more investors to come here, but we don t want land to idle in the name of tourism,` the Chief Minister said.
He said that in Passekudah a Maldivian woman had been allocated 20 acres of prime land for a hotel project more than an year ago, but no development had been done so far. `But if the government vests full powers in the Provincial Councils on utilisation of land, we will not allow it to happen,` he added.
Hailing the government s efforts to bring peace to the country after defeating terrorism, he said the people would be able to reap the benefits of these achievements only if there is development.
`Tourism in the province would provide more employment opportunities to the youth and hence we want the East coast to be developed as a top tourist destination,` he said.
The Eastern Province has over 45,000 war widows and unemployment is quite high, he said.