Jaffna, Jan 18 (ANI): The visiting Indian External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna, on Wednesday announced the completion of wreck removal work at the Kankasanthurai (KKS) Harbour.
"Today, I am happy to announce the completion of wreck removal work at the KKS Harbour at a cost of 19 million US Dollars. This is expected to facilitate marine trade in Jaffna peninsula and revive economic activity in Northern Province. We stand ready to provide further grant assistance for the next phase of the project," said Krishna in his remarks at the ceremony for distribution of bicycles and the announcement of completion of wreck removal in the Kankesanthurai Port.
"We are undertaking rehabilitation of Achuvely Industrial Zone to create employment opportunities in Northern Province and to provide a platform for industrial development of Jaffna," he added.
Krishna said New Delhi hopes Colombo will develop Palaly as a civilian airport and restore its connectivity with India and within Sri Lanka
"We hope the Government of Sri Lanka will develop Palaly as a civilian airport and restore its connectivity with India and within Sri Lanka. This will give tremendous fillip to the local economies in our two countries," he said.
Krishna also distributed cycles to Internally Displaced Persons from all the five districts of the Northern Province.
"The project to distribute 10,000 bicycles to the returning IDPs in the five districts of the Northern Province will enhance and anchor their return. I extend appreciation to Sri Lankan Government for its support as also to UNHCR, which has been associated by us as an implementation partner," said Krishna.
"There exists a special relationship between the people of the Northern Province in general and Jaffna Peninsula in particular and those of southern India," he added.
Krishna further said we have undertaken renovation of Duraiyappah Stadium to redevelop the sports infrastructure of Jaffna.
" We intend to build the Jaffna Cultural Centre next to the Public Library. Last evening, I was shown the design of the proposed Centre. I am confident that this Centre will emerge as a cultural icon and help rejuvenate such activities," he added.
Stating that Sri Lanka has emerged from three decades of armed conflict, Krishna said: " Now peace has dawned. It is our sincere hope that the vision and leadership that resulted in an end to the armed conflict will now be employed in the quest for a genuine political settlement based on devolution of power resulting in national reconciliation among all the communities of Sri Lanka".
"We have noted the constructive recommendations contained in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and look forward to their implementation. It is also our hope that the process of dialogue presently underway will lead to a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, which would create the necessary conditions for a lasting political settlement. India will do everything possible to assist in this process," he added.
The External Affairs Minister reiterated that the Government and people of India will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Government of Sri Lanka and the people of the Northern Province all possible assistance in their reconstruction efforts.
Krishna earlier in the day handed over the first lot of houses to beneficiaries under the Indian Housing project in Ariyalai.
" This is truly the flagship project of India's development assistance to Sri Lanka and, one of the largest grant assistance project undertaken by the Government of India in any part of the world. Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh made the offer to construct 50,000 houses in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka during the visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India in June 2010," he said. (ANI)
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