President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that culture is the bridge of reconciliation and development and explained the government’s policy towards this end at the vesting ceremony of the Jaffna Cultural Centre (JCC) which was completed with funds of Rs. 13,500 million provided by India.
Noting the significance of the first elected leader in Sri Lanka, Ponnambalam Ramanathan, he pointed out that the country’s development could be accelerated with a combination of Sinhala and Tamil leadership and called on all citizens to join hands in brotherhood to rebuild this fallen nation.
Extending his sincere thanks to Indian Premier Narendra Modi and his government, the President observed that it is one of the major events of the programs implemented by the Sri Lankan and Indian governments.
Indian State Minister of Fisheries L. Murugan, Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Minister Vidura Wickramanayake, State Minister Kader Mastan, Members of Parliament Angajan Ramanathan, Selvam Adekkalanathan, M. A. Sumanthiran, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Bagley, President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, Northern Province Governor Jeevan Thyagaraja and other officials attended this event.
Land deeds awarded to displaced persons
Honouring the pledge made by President Wickremesinghe to release military occupied lands, a ceremony was held at the Jaffna District Secretariat on Saturday (11) to award land deeds and financial compensation to 197 families who were displaced in the North. The President also handed over cheques to the value of Rs. 38,000 to each recipient.
The resettlement programme and the awarding of land deeds and compensation to these families is a significant step towards helping them start a new life and rebuild their homes. Many recipients expressed their gratitude for being given back their lands after 33 years of displacement.