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President emphasises on developing Nuwara Eliya while retaining its identity



President Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed officials to develop a formal plan aimed at maximizing the contribution of the Nuwara Eliya District, a major tourist city, to the Sri Lankan Government’s program to establish a stable economy within a four-year timeframe.

During a discussion held at the Nuwara Eliya District Secretariat this morning (10), the President has instructed officials to work on a formal plan to maximize the contribution of the Nuwara Eliya District.

A statement issued by the President’s Media Unit further says : 

The discussion also included the unveiling of the Nuwara Eliya New Town Development Plan and the Nuwara Eliya Tourism Plan, which were attended by political authority and government officials from the Nuwara Eliya District.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who spoke at the occasion, highlighted that despite the belief of many that the country’s economy could not be rebuilt, the agreement reached by the International Monetary Fund and the Government, provides an opportunity for fresh hope on the country’s economy.

The President emphasized the importance of developing the Nuwara Eliya District as a striking city that can attract tourists throughout the year, targeting both local and foreign tourists.

The President stressed the importance of preparing the development plans while considering the needs of tourists. He explained that the plans should prioritize creating a pleasant environment for tourists to relax, rather than focusing on constructing large buildings. 

He also pointed out that the absence of a formal system for rainwater drainage in Nuwara Eliya City is a longstanding issue, and he urged officials to implement an urgent program to address this problem. Additionally, he directed special attention to solving the problem of drinking water in the area.

Mr. Wickremesinghe further explained that buildings in the Nuwara Eliya City should be done according to a proper plan, rather than constructing buildings haphazardly. He emphasized that the city has suffered due to the construction of large buildings and that officials should consider whether to turn it into a bustling metropolis like New York or maintain its identity as Nuwara Eliya.

The President highlighted the likelihood of an increase in tourist arrivals to Nuwara Eliya with the completion of the Central Expressway and stressed the importance of developing facilities in accordance with a proper plan. 

He also emphasized that no party or investor should be allowed to damage the resources of the Nuwara Eliya District, and that all development should be environmentally friendly and well-planned.

Furthermore, Mr. Wickremesinghe called for government officials and political authorities to work in a well-coordinated manner in these matters. He encouraged everyone to think beyond the traditional framework and align themselves with the new program needed by the country.

Following the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his intention to meet with all the secretaries of ministries, chairpersons of authorities and commissions, as well as heads of departments in order to obtain their contribution to realize the targeted 2025 development plan. 

During the discussion, there was a widespread focus on developing the Nuwara Eliya District through sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.

There was a detailed conversation regarding the development activities to be carried out in the city under the Nuwara Eliya City Development Plan, as well as the development of Nanu Oya as a sub-city.

Plans were also made to develop Nuwara Eliya as a green city by preserving forest conservation areas, and five suburbs were earmarked for development with Nuwara Eliya as the central hub. Additionally, the establishment of a university in Nuwara Eliya and the construction of a Ramayana Center were also discussed during the meeting.

The President issued instructions to modernize the Nanu-Oya Railway Station and establish a high-quality economic centre nearby. The aim is to enable farmers to pack their vegetables and transport them safely and conveniently to Colombo.

The development of the racecourse and the lake, improvement of parking facilities, and speedy implementation of a formal water management program in Nuwara Eliya were given special attention during the discussions. 

In addition, a program to increase the income of local residents and improve their lives was discussed at length. 

The event was attended by Minister Jeevan Thondaman, Nuwara Eliya District Members of Parliament S.B. Dissanayake, C.B. Ratnayake, V.S. Radhakrishnan and M. Rameswaran, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, Nuwara Eliya District Secretary Nandana Galabada, and other government officials.


Litro slashes gas cylinder prices




Litro Gas Lanka, one of the country’s two leading suppliers of domestic Liquefied Petroleum (LP) gas, has decided to slash the prices of its products.

The price reduction will be effective from midnight tomorrow (June 04), according to Litro chairman and CEO Muditha Peiris.

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Three state bank employees arrested for stealing pawned gold jewellery




The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested three employees of a state bank in Oddamavadi for stealing pawned gold jewellery to the tune of LKR 20 million.

According to the police, among the arrestees are the deputy manager, operations manager and the service assistant of the said state bank.

The trio is accused of stealing pawned 873g of gold jewellery from the safety-deposit box of the state bank.

The CID team had initiated probes into the matter after receiving a complaint about several pieces of gold jewellery that had gone missing from the depository of the bank.

An individual, upon visiting the bank to retrieve the gold jewellery he had pawned in November last year to obtain a loan, had learned that the items were, in fact, missing. After conducting an inspection, the bank employees realized that 13 packets of gold jewellery have been disappeared from the depository.

The bank’s management has suspended the duties of the deputy manager over the incident.

During the interrogations, he had confessed that two other female employees – an operations manager and a service assistant – too were complicit in the theft. They were later placed under arrest by the CID investigators.

They had used the depository keys which were in their possession to steal the gold jewellery on three occasions.

After stealing 13 packets of gold jewellery, the trio had sold them to gold jewellery shops in the area for LKR 13.7 million out of which LKR 5.7 million was retained by the deputy manager to settle a loan. The operations manager, meanwhile, held on to LKR 5 million, which she deposited in a bank for her daughter. The service assistant had purchased a three-wheeler and a piece of land from the LKR 3 million she received.

The trio was remanded until June 16 after being produced before the Valachchenai Magistrate’s Court on Friday (June 02).

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3 sluice gates of Kukule Ganga reservoir opened




Three of the four sluice gates of Kukule Ganga reservoir were opened this evening (June 02) as heavy rains were experienced in the catchment areas.

The authorities have advised the people living in low-lying areas of the Kukule Ganga reservoir to be on alert of possible floods.

It is reported that the water levels of the reservoir have increased at an alarming rate after the downpours in the water catchment areas.

Meanwhile, the Irrigation Department issued an ‘Amber’ flood warning for the upper catchment areas of Kuda Ganga sub-basin of Kalu River after heavy rainfall was received.

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