President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday lauded the progress achieved by the Presidential Task Force on Northern and Eastern Province Development during the last two months.
This Presidential Task Force was established last August with the objective of expediting development activities which were deterred by the protracted conflict in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in the country and thereby uplifting the living standards of the people in these two provinces.
Addressing the Presidential Task Force at Presidential Secretariat yesterday, the President invited all parties to join hands with the Task Force to continue its programs.
The President added that he is determined to fast track this programme in these two provinces and all parties should carry out their responsibilities by joining this programme.
This Special Presidential Task Force will look into the development activities now in progress in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and plan new projects to be implemented in these two provinces .
New projects are also being implemented based on priorities of the people living in these two provinces. Special focus was laid upon the provision of potable water to the people living in these two province at the Special Task Force meeting yesterday and the Northern and Eastern Governors informed the Task Force about people’s needs and the development issues in these two provinces.
It was revealed at the Task Force that the releasing of the lands occupied by the Security Forces in the North and East is in its final stage. They also reviewed the progress of the programme of releasing these lands by end of December 31 as directed by President Maithripala Sirisena.
It was disclosed that 79.01 per cent of government lands occupied by the Security Forces have been released to the relevant state agencies while 90.2 per cent of private lands held by the Security Forces in these two provinces have been released. These released lands included areas of religious,economical and educational importance in these two provinces. The Task Force also discussed the ongoing programme aimed at promoting the livelihood of the people. They discussed on the programmes aimed at widening foreign investment facilities and industries.
They also inquired about the progress of reconstruction activities at the sacred Madhu Church premises and development of the Elephant Pass saltern.