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5 housing projects in Colombo to benefit low & middle-class residents 



State Minister for Urban Development and Housing, Mr. Arundika Fernando, announced the commencement of five housing projects in the Colombo city aimed at benefiting the low and middle-class population.

He further highlighted that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has recently secured an agreement with the Chinese Government. Fernando also emphasized that housing projects initiated by the Housing Development Authority, currently on hold, will be reinitiated as part of the new budget for the year 2024.

These developments were disclosed by State Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Mr. Arundika Fernando, during a news conference held at the Presidential Media Centre today (26), under the theme ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country.’

Expressing his views further he said;

“Our nation is a stunning island that boasts diverse topography, various climate zones and an abundance of natural resources. Notably, our country is rich in valuable mineral resources and is among the regions with the lowest occurrence of natural disasters globally.

Land stands as our most precious resource and its value escalates with the growing population. Even in suburban areas, land values continue to rise. The Urban Development Authority manages a substantial amount of land, but the available information about these lands is currently insufficient. Consequently, the ministry is actively working to enhance data on land ownership.

Moreover, the Urban Development Authority has acquired lands for various government projects, encompassing activities like urban planning and city expansion. We also possess land suitable for both domestic and foreign investments, providing opportunities for interested parties to utilize government-owned land. Once the Urban Development Authority’s data is fully digitized, anyone can access information about the lands owned by the authority.

A strong emphasis has been placed on utilizing our land resources for economic gain, exemplified by valuable plots like those on McCallum Road. These principles apply not only to Colombo but to all cities, including Kandy, Bogambara Prison and Nuwara Eliya. 

Additionally, there are plans to create new investment opportunities cantered around the Bogambara prison land.

Thanks to the effective financial management under President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s leadership, there’s potential to revive halted projects initiated by the Housing Development Authority. We anticipate resuming these activities with the new budget for 2024.

Furthermore, instances of fraud and corruption have marred certain projects. The ministry is actively taking measures to rectify these errors.

In addition, there are plans to initiate five housing projects in Colombo, targeting individuals with low and moderate incomes. This substantial undertaking is estimated to cost 350 million dollars, with a significant commitment from the Chinese Government, secured through President Ranil Wickremesinghe. To date, 200 million US dollars have already been received for this ambitious project, which aims to construct 2,500 houses.

Simultaneously, the Lowland Development Authority is playing a significant role in flood control efforts within Colombo. Initiatives are also underway to safeguard mangroves and wetlands.

Unfortunately, some individuals who had their lands requisitioned for flood control purposes have faced challenges, including inadequate compensation. Our aim is to rectify this situation and acquire these lands in a more systematic manner within Colombo city.

As a ministry, we stand prepared to make the utmost contribution to President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s mission for the country’s development.”

(President’s Media Division)


Fire breaks out in workers’ living quarters near Colombo Port




A fire has reportedly broken out in the living quarters of highway access road workers near the Colombo Port.

The Colombo Fire Brigade said it has dispatched four fire trucks to assist in extinguishing the flames.

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President Wickremesinghe meets Elon Musk to discuss starlink implementation in Sri Lanka




President Ranil Wickremesinghe has met with billionaire and investor Elon Musk on the sidelines of the 10th World Water Forum High-Level Meeting being held in Indonesia.

During the meeting, Wickremesinghe and Musk discussed the implementation of ‘Starlink’ in Sri Lanka.

It was emphasized that Sri Lanka is committed to expediting the application process to connect the country to the global Starlink network, according to the President’s Media Division (PMD).

Minister Jeevan Thondaman, accompanying the President on his two-day visit to Indonesia, tweeted: “President and Elon discussed Sri Lanka’s recovery, economic potential, and new opportunities for investment. Great to have two visionary leaders come together for Sri Lanka.”

Elon Musk arrived in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on Sunday to launch Starlink satellite internet service in the world’s largest archipelago nation.

The billionaire head of Tesla and SpaceX, and owner of social platform X, arrived by private jet on the idyllic “island of the gods,” renowned for its tropical beaches, terraced rice paddies, mystical temples, and colorful spiritual offerings.

Musk is slated to launch the service alongside Indonesian President Joko Widodo in a ceremony later Sunday at a public health clinic in Denpasar, the provincial capital of Bali. 

Musk will also sign an agreement to enhance connectivity in the country’s health and education sectors.

During his first in-person visit to Bali, Musk is also scheduled to participate in the 10th World Water Forum, which seeks to address global water and sanitation challenges.

–With agencies inputs

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Senior diplomat to oversee Sri Lankan embassy in Russia




It is reported that the government has planned to send a senior officer of the foreign service to the Sri Lankan embassy in Russia until a new ambassador is appointed due to the lack of an ambassador.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Taraka Balasuriya has told the media that the absence of an ambassador is just a gap in the work procedure, and based on the current situation in Russia, a senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be directed to supervise its affairs.

He emphasized that a retired foreign service senior is being sent and the lack of an ambassador is not a major problem.

The Minister further stated that there is already a senior Foreign Service officer there, and given the urgent need, a very senior Foreign Service officer is being sent not because the officer currently in Russia is inadequate.

Mr. Balasuriya has stressed that this is being done to strengthen the operation and that the work will be done according to the normal protocol.

However, even though an ambassador has been appointed to Russia, Mr. Balasuriya has made arrangements not to reveal who it is to the media.

The former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation, Prof. Janitha A. Liyanage, was given three extensions, and she ended her service at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Moscow on April 29.

At present, Counsellor Ruvini K. Munidasa serves as the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy.

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