Colombo, Aug 25 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has pledged to transform the
Tamil-dominated Eastern Province, particularly the Trincomalee district, into a multifaceted hub and underscored the need to engage Indian assistance for it.
Addressing a special committee meeting on the developmental initiatives within the province on
Thursday, the president asserted the acceleration of the Eastern Development Project and
emphasised fostering a conducive environment to reinvigorate the island nation’s cash-strapped
Stressing the need to engage India’s assistance for this project, Wickremesinghe highlighted its
strategic importance, a release by the President’s Office said.
He underscored the comprehensive vision for Trincomalee’s transformation into a multifaceted hub
encompassing energy, transportation, maritime commerce, naval operations, aviation, industry, and tourism. Wickremesinghe, who is also the finance minister, stressed India’s collaborative role in the transformation.
“Presently, a comprehensive plan formulated by Surbana Jurong (Singapore-based major
infrastructure consulting firm) pertains to the Trincomalee district’s development, supported by an
established agreement between Sri Lanka and India,” Wickremesinghe said.
”It is vital that this accord is executed” he added. The development strategy entails a meticulously crafted programme aimed at enhancing the Kumana coastal stretch extending from Verugalaru to Panama.
This expanse is envisioned to be harnessed for the advancement of the tourism sector.
Simultaneously, a blueprint is in place for establishing modernised agriculture within this vicinity,
and this model is intended to be extended to other areas within the Eastern Province.
Anticipating an evolution in Trincomalee’s fishing, agriculture, and tourism sectors, the strategic goal is to elevate the city to a prominent commercial centre. Wickremesinghe’s statement came days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar highlighted the potential of renewable energy and regional economic activities, including the Trincomalee hub, for mutual benefit.
Updating through a video message members of the India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship
Association on bilateral relations, Jaishankar reiterated New Delhi’s support for the preservation of
the island nation’s multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, and multi-religious identity.
Jaishankar also delved into India’s positive contributions to Sri Lanka’s development, stability, and prosperity based on geographical proximity and shared democratic values between the two countries, according to an official statement by the Indian High Commission in Colombo. PTI