'Peace vital for economic development' -Ranil

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 August 2002, 23:21 GMT]
"The economic development of the country critically depends on the outcome of the peace talks. We have strengthened the ongoing peace process by laying a firm foundation for the proposed peace talks," said Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Friday morning, when addressing a gathering which followed the ceremonial inauguration of the first common user multi purpose berth in the port of Trincomalee.

The Prime Minister declared open the five-day Industrial Exhibition named ‘Yuga Thakma’ in Trincomalee esplanade Friday evening.

The new berth was named "Ashraff Quay" after late minister of Port Development Mr.M.H.M.Ashraff who initiated the project in 1999. The new berth was constructed at a cost of 1,294 million rupees.

The first vessel to leave from the new berth was Komari with 400 metric tones of cement to Kankesanthurai, port officials in Trincomalee said.

Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe further stated that peace efforts should be taken forward in the correct path with solid foundation. "Obstacles and delays will not be allowed to ruin the peace efforts," said the Prime Minister.

He said, "my government is taking every step to develop the country. This is possible only if we can sustain the current peace efforts and march towards permanent peace."

Mr.Wickremasinghe at the inaugural event of the industrial exhibition Friday evening said that, "since the United National Front government came to power there is a marked improvement in the economy. My government will not allow any setback in this regard. Peace should be strengthened to attain economic stability."

Industries Minister Mr. Rohitha Bogollagama, Port Development and Shipping Minister Rauff Hakeem and Trincomalee district UNP parliamentarian Mr.M.A.M.Maharoof also spoke at the function.

Ranil Rohitha

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