President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced plans to transform the district of Mannar into an energy hub.

He also revealed that an inter-city express train service between Talaimannar and Colombo will commence on September 15 aiming at enhancing connectivity and facilitating smoother travel between the two cities.

President Wickremesinghe made these remarks while participating at the annual festival of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu in Mannar today (15).

It is also noteworthy that President Ranil Wickremesinghe participated in the morning service of the feast this year.

Subsequent to the main ceremony, a revered statue of Lady Madhu was respectfully carried in procession throughout the church grounds to pay homage to the devoted attendees.

A significant number of devotees from various parts of the island gathered for the annual feast. The year 2024 marks the completion of 100 years since the enshrinement of the revered statue of Lady Madhu. The church management board has decided to hold services throughout the year to commemorate this occasion.


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Most Rev. Dr. Brian Udaigwe, the The Vatican Apostolic Nuncio of Sri Lanka, who attended the main service, commended President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s statement in Parliament regarding National Peace and Reconciliation. He mentioned that this statement has received the blessings of the Vatican and the Catholic Church.


Most Rev. Dr. Brian Udaigwe emphasized that religious leaders have a crucial role in maintaining peace and harmony in the country. He also stressed that whether a religious figure divides or unites the country is determined by their own actions.

The event was attended by Bishops led by Bishop of Mannar Dr. Emmanuel Fernando, clergy including President of the Christian Development Foundation of Sri Lanka Dr. Chandru Fernando, Minister of Cultural Affairs Vidura Wickramanayake, National Security Advisor Sagala Ratnayaka and a large number of devotees.


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