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Presidents unveils plans to develop Mannar as he joins Madhu Church Feast (Pics)

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During his presence at the annual festival of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu in Mannar today (15), President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced plans to transform Mannar into an energy hub. He also revealed that an inter-city express train service between Thalaimannar and Colombo will commence on September 15th aiming at enhancing connectivity and facilitate smoother travel between the two cities.

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.

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.

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.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe further commented:

It must be acknowledged that the annual feasts of the National Shrine of Lady Madhu are an integral part of our local culture. Therefore, considering this festival as a national event, the government bears the responsibility of safeguarding and supporting its continuation.

Furthermore, on this occasion, I extend the government’s gratitude to all the clergy who dedicate themselves to organizing the annual Madhu feast.

Numerous devotees come here to seek solace through prayers to Lady Madhu. During last year’s economic crisis, a substantial number of devotees gathered here to pray for Lady Madhu’s assistance and protection. It can be said that Lady Madhu’s blessings provided us with strength during that challenging time.

The Mannar region, where the National Shrine of Lady Madhu is located, possesses abundant renewable energy resources. With access to solar, wind, and green energies, the Mannar district can be developed into an energy hub.

We have also formulated plans to transform Punarin into an energy city. It is important to note that all these development initiatives are designed to preserve this sacred land and its forests. I have instructed officials to seek advice and guidance from the clergy here during these development efforts.

An inter-city express train service from Thalaimannar to Colombo is scheduled to commence on the 15th of September. This service is being launched in response to the request of MP Charles Nirmalanathan. Additionally, steps have been taken to establish a sugar factory in Vavuniya, as requested by MP Selvam Adekkalanathan. Cabinet approval has been obtained for this project. These measures aim to facilitate rapid development in these regions. Through these endeavors, we aspire to build a developed Sri Lanka by 2048. I count on your support in achieving this goal.

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, Minister Naleen Fernando, State Minister Arundika Fernando, Kader Mastan, Member of Parliament Kavinda Jayawardene, Selvam Adekkalanathan, Charles Nirmalanathan, President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and President’s Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake, and a large number of devotees.

(President’s Media Division)

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President participates in deposition of sacred relics at historical Dighavapi Chaitya

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe participated in a significant cultural and religious ceremony yesterday (14) at the historic Deegawapiya Stupa located at the Deegawapiya Raja Maha Vihara. 

The ceremony marked the deposition of relics and treasures, an important event in the ongoing restoration of the ancient stupa.

The renovation project, which began in 2020, has been supported by the Ministry of Defence. 

The event saw the attendance of senior government officials, politicians, and religious leaders, emphasizing the national importance of the restoration work.

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General (Retd.) Kamal Gunarathne, addressed the gathering, outlining the ministry’s efforts since 2020. 

He highlighted the contributions of the armed forces in providing labor and the role of public and well-wisher donations in funding the project. 

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President inaugurates 2nd phase of Kompannavidiya flyover (Pics)

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe today (July 11) inaugurated the second phase of the flyover project connecting Kompannavidiya and Justice Akbar Mawatha.

This phase, constructed by the Ministry of Transport and Highways at a cost of LKR 5,278 million, spans between Kompannavidiya and  Justice Akbar Mawatha over the railway line.

The Road Development Authority, in collaboration with Maga Engineering, undertook this project to alleviate the delays and traffic congestion caused by the frequent closing of railway gates for 109 daily train journeys.

In the bustling commercial area of Kompannavidiya, which hosts various institutions including government offices, hospitals, religious places, restaurants and cinema halls, it has been observed that nearly three hours of the day is wasted due to the closing of railway gates.

With the completion of the flyover, travel from Kompannavidiya towards Galle Face and the Presidential Secretariat will be smooth and free of traffic jams, thereby contributing significantly to the national economy by reducing the time people spend on the road.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Senior Advisor to the President on National security and Presidential Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, and Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Highways Ranjith Rubasinghe.

(Excerpts : President’s Media Division)

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Sampanthan championed rights of all Sri Lankans – President (Pics)

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The funeral ceremony of late parliamentarian R. Sampanthan was held in Trincomalee yesterday (July 07).

The funeral ceremony, honouring the former Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), as well as the late Trincomalee District Member of Parliament, was attended by numerous political leaders, both from the Government and the opposition.

Paying tribute to the late MP and senior politician, President Ranil Wickremesinghe acknowledged Mr. Sampanthan as a leader who championed the rights not only of the Tamil people but also of all Sri Lankans.

He emphasized that both Mr. Sampanthan and himself were committed to the cause of an undivided Sri Lanka. The President also urged everyone to unite in successfully concluding the discussions initiated with the late Mr. Sampanthan.

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