Only peace will permit development - Minister
[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 February 2003, 15:33 GMT]
Only because of the prevailing climate of peace and the progress that is being achieved in the on-going talks between the Government of SriLanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that we are able to visit here and actively engage in promoting industrial development, said Industries Minister Rohitha Bogollagama of the ruling United National Front (UNF) government, speaking at Manmuni North regional Secretariat in Batticaloa district, Friday, sources in the east said.
Industries Minister Rohitha Bogollagama
A delegation of officials of the Industries Ministry and Minister Bogollagama arrived in Valaichenai Railway station on Friday morning to meet with local industrial industry government officials to discuss on matters related to promoting industrial development in the Batticaloa district, sources said.
Addressing the meeting presided by Additional Government Agent, V. Shanmugam, the minister said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe has initiated plans to expedite development of the North East. The plans include implementing industrial ventures that will provide employment, additional revenue, and benefit the country as a whole, the Minister added.
"Until recently only Biyagama and Katunayake regions in the South achieved significant financial benefits, including employment opportunities for thousand of workers, from setting up of industrial parks, industrial partnerships and development. According to the new plan of our Prime Minister, this strategy of establishing industrial parks will be extended to the regions of North East to provide economic, financial benefits to all regions and to provide employment opportunities to residents of these areas.
"In Valaichenai, our initial priority will be on rehabilitating the Paper Factory. During 1988 to 1994, when United National Party (UNP) was in power, the Paper Factory was run efficiently and was profitable. Mismanagement and interference by government officials during the Peoples Alliance government allowed the factory operation to deteriorate and brought factory towards closing down.
"Our Government has allocated Rs.200 million to develop and modernize the Paper Factory. Several other similar similar activities are being planned for implementation in this district. I urnestly request cooperation from government officials and residents of the district to make this happen," said Minister Bogollagama.
Batticaloa district parliamentarians Joseph Pararajasingham, E. Thangavadivel, G. Krishnapillai, Consultant to the Planning Ministry Alizahir Moulana and several ministry officals participated in the meeting.