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Sri Lanka’s President unveils 10-year blueprint for development in Eastern Province

Sri Lanka’s President unveils 10-year blueprint for development in Eastern Province

Daily FT: President Ranil Wickremesinghe unveiled an ambitious 10-year initiative aimed at boosting agriculture and tourism in the Eastern Province, with a particular focus on the development of Trincomalee.
He highlighted plans to harness the untapped agricultural potential of the Mahaweli A and B zones in the Batticaloa district, previously overlooked by Mahaweli projects. Additionally, a comprehensive tourism strategy spanning from Nilaweli to Panama is set to be implemented.
The President made these announcements during his attendance at the 149th-anniversary celebration of Chenkaladi Central College in Batticaloa.
Furthermore, efforts to enhance the college’s infrastructure were initiated in conjunction with its anniversary and President Ranil Wickremesinghe personally conferred certificates to students who successfully completed their Advanced-level studies at Chenkaladi Madhya Mahavidyalaya, Batticaloa.
“Batticaloa is a district of great fortune, boasting two schools with a distinguished 150-year legacy. Just yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the momentous 150th anniversary celebration of St. Michael’s College. Today, we are gathered here at Chenkaladi Madhya Mahavidyalaya. It’s worth noting that the late Minister K.W. Devanayagayan received his education at this very school and I had the honor of working alongside him during J.R. Jayawardene’s Cabinet.
He said the school has consistently provided high-quality education to the youth of Chenkaladi and Kalkuda areas. “The proof lies in the remarkable number of students it has sent to Jayawardenapura University, as well as those pursuing various courses, including accounting. These students have also excelled in the field of technology, despite the school’s lack of a proper technology lab. As a result, I am committed to establishing a state-of-the-art technology laboratory at the school to further enhance its educational offerings,” he added.
While this school has undoubtedly achieved academic excellence, its talents extend beyond the classroom, notably in the field of dance. “Today, the Chenkaladi area has seen significant development and it’s our duty to continue fostering progress in these regions, a shared aspiration of both Devanayagan and Rajadurei, distinguished Ministers from the Batticaloa district. I’m pleased to report that we are actively working to fulfil their vision,” Wickremesinghe said.
The President noted that education has been the cornerstone of Batticaloa’s development, yet the economic foundation requires strengthening. “Our 10-year plan for the Batticaloa district is poised to bolster its economic vitality. The late President J.R. Jayawardene initially intended to leverage the Mahaweli initiative for regional development, but the shadow of war prevented its realization. Today, a new vision emerges as we plan to transform Trincomalee into a thriving city, in collaboration with India, tapping into mineral resources and creating a bustling trade hub,” he said.
Noting that Katunayake, Biyagama exists as a 400-acre investment zone, he said that Trincomalee has set its sights on establishing an expansive 1,000-acre investment zone. “A systematic development plan for the Trincomalee Port has been prepared by a Singaporean company Surbana Jurong and we are determined to see it through. This ambitious endeavor will transform Trincomalee into a major city and a robust economic hub,” he explained.
Concurrently, the President said the Government recognized the importance of agricultural development. “Plans are underway to harness the untapped potential of the Mahaweli ‘A and B regions’ in the Batticaloa district, previously overlooked by Mahaweli projects. Our aim is to create a modern agricultural industry in this area,” he added.

OSL take:
Sri Lanka is currently engaged in formulating plans to develop all parts of the country with special focus on the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Sri Lanka’s development programmed, which cover all key economic sectors in each of the provinces has presented a host of new business/investment opportunities. These programmers are also in line with Sri Lanka’s target of becoming an emerging business destination in the South Asian region. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have also added to the country’s attraction as a business destination. With development aid received by Sri Lanka for many development programmers, foreign businesses could explore the opportunities in infrastructure development as well as the development of supplementary infrastructure facilities. Foreign investors could also look at investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s regional development programmed given the overall growth and business potential in the country.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20231017/Z_2

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