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ACHC briefed on plans to rebuild North

ACHC briefed on plans to rebuild North

Author: Ananth Palakidnar
Publication: Sunday Observer
Date: December 6, 2009
URL: http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2009/12/06/new50.asp

The Government has worked out extensive plans to rebuild the Western Northern Province with enhancing the educational facilities, developing the agricultural sector and reconstructioning the places of worship in the cards according to Chairman, Presidential Task Force for Resettlement Development and Security in the Northern Province and Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP.

Rajapaksa met delegates of the All Ceylon Hindu Congress (ACHC) (Federation of Hindu Religious Association and Trusts in Sri Lanka) at Temple Trees last Thursday. Justice and Law Reforms Minister Milinda Moragoda was also present at the event.

The ACHC delegation was headed by its President V. Kailasapillai General Secretary of the Association K. Neelakandan and several prominent members of the ACHC also met Rajapaksa.

Kailasapillai, who is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Thiruketheeswaran Kovil in Mannar sought the assistance of the Government to arrange for sculptors from India to come down and complete the architectural work using the pillars which had already been brought from Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu by the Trustees and awaiting installation at the Kovil.

Rajapaksa said that he would contact the High Commissioner for India in Sri Lanka and the Foreign Secretary of India and expedite the matter. He further informed the delegation that he has planned to develop the environment of the Thiruketheeswaram Temple and also assured that necessary roads will be repaired and constructed to that the devotees to Thiruketheeswaram can conveniently visit the Kovil.

Neelakandan informed Rajapaksa that a large number of devotees from India are anxious to come to Thiruketheeswaram Kovil for the next Maha Sivarathri which falls on March 13, 2010.

Rajapaksa said that the planned development and improvements will be done before this date.

The delegation told Rajapaksa that through Hindu institutions in Jaffna and Mannar, the ACHC with the assistance of Manitha Neyam Trust will make arrangements to look after the needy children who are now being released from IDP camps. Minister Moragoda, briefed Rajapaksa on the steps taken to establish a Rehabilitation Centre at Colombo Hindu College, Ratmalana with the assistance of the ACHC.

Rajapaksa will be meeting the members again to discuss the Government's plan to develop the Northern Province with the assistance of the civil society.

Neelakandan requested Rajapaksa to improve the educational facilities in the North, and added that the University of Jaffna and schools in Jaffna could be given priority in the proposed development. Rajapaksa explained the steps already taken by the Government in this regard.

He also stated that Mankulam will be developed as the new political city of the North, and that Jaffna will remain as the commercial city of the North.

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