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Cabinet sub-committee & new institute to implement ‘Surbana Jurong’ plan

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During a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat on May 14, President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that a Cabinet sub-committee would be appointed to implement the Surbana Jurong plan for the development of the Western Province and a new agency would be established for this purpose.

The President stressed the need for comprehensive development in the Western Province through a formal city development plan, stating that informal development could become uncontrollable. The Western Province contributes about 50 per cent to the country’s economy, making its development crucial.

President Wickremesinghe instructed officials to present the development plan for the Eastern Province to the Cabinet. He also reminded everyone that the first plan related to the development of the Western Province was presented by Minister Indika Gunawardena in 1997 but was never implemented.

The plan presented by Surbana Jurong Company in Singapore in 2004 also suffered a similar fate. The President urged officials to discuss the revised plan proposed by the company in 2015 and come to an urgent decision on the basic development plan needed for the Western Province, with further amendments if necessary.

The President was presented with the main development plan proposed to be implemented in the Western Province through the Urban Development Authority, and officials also discussed the release of land and land acquisition for the implementation of development works. President Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed officials to speed up the work.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Prasanna Ranatunga, Bandula Gunawardena, Wijayadasa Rajapakshe, Nalin Fernando, Member of Parliament Yadamini Gunawardena, Presidential Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake, Presidential Senior Adviser on Climate Change Ruwan Wijewardena, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake and a group of government officials including ministry secretaries attended the discussion.

(President’s Media Division)

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Ceylon tea exports offset $60M of Sri Lanka’s fuel debt to Iran

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The Sri Lanka Tea Board announced yesterday that exports of Ceylon Tea have successfully offset a substantial portion of the country’s fuel bill owed to Iran, amounting to US $ 60 million.

Since 2011, Sri Lanka has accumulated an arrears of US $ 251 million for fuel imports from Iran.

Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Niraj De Mel said that the settlement was achieved, as exports of tea to Iran tripled during this period.

Facing financial challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and domestic economic downturn, Sri Lanka struggled to meet its financial obligations to Iran, due to the foreign exchange shortages.

To resolve this issue, an agreement was reached between the two nations, focusing on settling outstanding debts through tea exports.

De Mel reported that tea exports to Iran from January to May 2024 totalled 4.98 million kilogrammes, a significant increase compared to 1.85 million kilogrammes exported during the same period in 2023.

(dailymirror.lk)
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff) 

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Sri Lanka to Host ICC Annual General Meeting, July 19-22

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In a statement, SLC mentioned that the mega cricket conference will bring together over 220 delegates from 108 ICC member countries from across the world, covering regions such as Africa, the Americas, Asia, East Asia Pacific, and Europe.

The pinnacle gathering of cricket administrators and stakeholders from around the globe, the ICC Annual Conference provides the platform for discussions on the strategic direction of the sport, governance, and the development of cricket worldwide, it added.

This year’s conference, themed “Capitalizing on the Olympic Opportunity,’ will discuss topics such as ‘Diversity and Inclusion,’ ‘environmental sustainability and the sport,’ and ‘Cricket’s triumphant return at LA28.

“This is a significant occasion for Sri Lanka, and we wish to warmly welcome the delegates from around the world to our beautiful island. We intend to use this conference to contribute to the future of cricket and showcase the beauty and heritage of our country to the world,” said Mr. Shammi Silva, President, Sri Lanka Cricket.

The annual conference will consist of a series of key meetings, workshops, and networking sessions, and key decisions will be taken for the benefit of the future of the game.

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Mervin Backs Wijeyadasa for President

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Former Sri Lankan Minister Mervin Silva is backing Minister (Dr) Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne, as potential candidates for President.

“This country needs a leader who can take it forward,” Silva asserted.

As election campaigns intensify, he highlighted the tendency of politicians to make extravagant promises. 

Drawing from his experience serving under Mahinda Rajapaksa, Silva recalled the distribution of various items, including material and undergarments, during campaigns. Despite these efforts, Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the election.

Similarly, Silva pointed out that Sajith Premadasa’s massive rallies at Galle Face Green did not secure victory. 

“We need a leader,” Silva emphasized, *”who can uphold law and order, enforce laws effectively, and collaborate with experts.”

In his opinion, Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe stands out as the best candidate for the presidency. Silva also mentioned ongoing discussions with President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne.

“Deceitful politicians,” Silva concluded, “must be held accountable and sent home.”

newsfirst.lk

(This story, originally published by newsfirst.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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