Published on: January 7, 2024

President Engages with Renowned Athlete Ms. Akila Thirunayaki Celebrating Her Numerous International Achievements in Athletics

  • President met with Northern Palm Industry – Plans to Form a Committee to Address Issues in the Palm Industry.
  • President Holds Discussion with the Bar Association of the Northern Province.

President Stresses Willingness to Make Tough Decisions for Economic Course Correction in Meeting with UNP Activists in Jaffna.

Ms. Akila Thirunayaki, a resident of Mulliyavalai, Mullaitivu, who recently clinched two gold medals in the 5000m and 1500m events, along with a bronze medal in the 800m event at the recent Asia Masters Athletics Championship in the Philippines, had the honour of meeting President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (06). This meeting took place at the Northern Province Governor’s Official Residence.

A 72-year-old retired prison officer, Ms. Thirunayaki showcased her athletic prowess from an early age and holds the position of the sixth sibling in a family comprising four brothers and nine sisters.

Having served as a prison officer before retiring, Ms. Thirunayaki has not only represented the country but has also clinched gold, silver, and bronze medals in various veterans’ tournaments held in Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and India.

During the meeting, President Wickremesinghe engaged in a friendly conversation, inquiring about Ms. Akila Thirunayaki’s sports activities. Additionally, as a gesture of encouragement, the President presented her with a gift voucher, acknowledging her remarkable achievements in the field of athletics.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe convened a meeting with United National Party members from Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts at Walampuri Hotel, Jaffna, today (07) emphasizing his commitment to making unpopular decisions for the benefit of the country’s economy. He highlighted the significance of the Northern Province in Sri Lanka’s Tamil civilization and pledged to connect its economy to the national economy swiftly.

President Wickremesinghe stressed that with rapid economic development in the North, new job opportunities and investment prospects would emerge. He sought the support of all representatives in the region to contribute to the development of both the North and the country. The meeting, organized by Jaffna District UNP Organizer Former Minister of State Vijayakala Maheswaran, provided a platform for approximately 600 party members to directly present their concerns to the President.

A young artist named K.A. Ravi, presented President Wickremesinghe with a portrait during this the meetings, showcasing local talent.

The President commented on the occasion further said:

“I extend my gratitude to Mrs. Vijayakala Maheswaran for organizing this meeting. Among the pressing issues in the Northern Province, the matters of land disputes and missing persons have taken precedence. As a government, we have devised plans to provide expeditious solutions to address these concerns.

We are committed to resolving the land issue in the North and addressing the missing persons’ matter before the conclusion of 2025. Additionally, an on-going program is in place to provide housing for the displaced population.

To capitalize on the abundant wind and thermal energy resources in the Northern Province, we aim to increase energy production, with a focus on energy export. The production of green hydrogen and green ammonia has been prioritized.

Modern technology is set to enhance the agricultural landscape in the fertile lands of the Northern Province, aiming to establish an export-oriented agriculture sector. Recognizing the impending global population increase, our focus is on meeting the food requirements through increased export agriculture.

A dedicated program is underway to boost the tourism industry in the Jaffna district. Necessary infrastructure is being developed to enable global Hindu devotees to witness the Vel Procession in Jaffna. Special events such as the Esala Procession in August, the Kataragama Procession and Jaffna’s Vel Procession are strategically planned to attract tourists.

Initiatives are underway to provide the diaspora with new investment opportunities, particularly in the development of health and education in the North.

These economic reforms are poised to generate new job and investment opportunities in the Northern Province. The ensuing job opportunities will contribute to the improvement of living standards for the youth in the North.

While decisions aimed at strengthening the country’s economy may not always be popular, I am committed to making the necessary, albeit unpopular, choices to steer the country’s economy in the right direction. Let us collectively contribute to the development of the Northern Province and the prosperity of the entire country.”

Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake, the President’s Director General of Community Affairs Mr. Rajith Keerthi Thennakoon, Former member of the Chunnakam Pradeshiya Sabha Mr. Suresh Kumar and several others were in attendance at this event.

In a parallel development, President Ranil Wickremesinghe joined a meeting with palm industrialists from the Northern Province today (07) at Thandei Chelwa Auditorium in Jaffna.

During the session, the President declared the formation of two committees tasked with investigating both social issues and challenges within the palm industry in the northern region. President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed that upon receiving the relevant committee’s report, essential decisions would be made to modernize the palm industry in the North.

Emphasizing his commitment to equal rights for all in the region, the President underscored that he stands firmly for this principle. He also highlighted the non-political nature of promises, asserting that a thorough understanding and resolution of issues will be beneficial for everyone involved.

The event was attended by the Minister of Fisheries Douglas Devananda, Member of Parliament Angajan Ramanathan, Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake and a significant number of industrialists involved in the palm-related industry.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe also met with the members of the Bar Association of Northern Province and a group of businessmen at the Governor’s official residence yesterday (06) to discuss various legal and business related challenges in the Northern Province. The meeting provided an avenue to address concerns and explore potential solutions to enhance the region’s legal and business environment.

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