Published on: January 6, 2024

The challenges faced by business community in the Northern Province will be addressed within the next two months

  • The President underscores the significance of business development for the Northern Province to play an active role in contributing to the national economy.

Meeting between the President and the academic staff of the University of Jaffna.

  • Initiatives unveiled for a transformative change in the University System.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has announced that comprehensive solutions will be offered to address the challenges encountered by businessmen in the Northern Province within the next two months.

He highlighted that officials from relevant Ministries will visit the Northern Province within the next two weeks to assess the situation, with plans to establish a dynamic agency dedicated to resolving issues faced by the business community in the province.

President Wickremesinghe made these remarks during a discussion held today (06) at the Jaffna District Secretariat, engaging with industrialists, fishermen and farmers of the Jaffna District.

Approximately 300 representatives from the industrial, fishing and farming sectors in the Northern Province are actively engaged in this event, wherein they presented their challenges and proposed new ideas related to their respective industries to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

President Wickremesinghe, attentively addressing the concerns raised, promptly initiated actions to provide solutions to certain issues.

Notably, the industrialists have appealed to the President for the establishment of an industrial zone in the Northern Province. In response, the President has directed officials to explore suitable land areas for this purpose.

Additionally, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed officials to expedite the establishment of a Provincial Business Promotion Centre in the Northern Province.

Acknowledging the crucial role of business development in the province’s active contribution to the national economy, the President has instructed officials to swiftly address the challenges hindering this progress.

During this occasion, Fisheries Minister Mr. Douglas Devananda, Member of Parliament Mr. Angajan Ramanathan, President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Jaffna District Secretary Mr. S. Sivabalasundaran, President Trade Unions Director General Mr. Saman Ratnapriya, President Community Affairs Director General Mr. Rajith Keerthy Tennakoon, and others were present

Simultaneously, President Ranil Wickremesinghe engaged in a meeting with the academic staff of Jaffna University at the Jaffna District Secretariat, today (06).

Jaffna University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. S. Srisatkunarajah, along with the academic staff, including senior lecturers of the university, was in attendance. During the meeting, a comprehensive development plan outlining transformative changes for Jaffna University was presented to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe proposed a comprehensive redesign of the university system, particularly emphasizing technological advancements. He urged the implementation of diverse approaches to ensure English proficiency among all university students, advocating for the use of distance learning methods.

Acknowledging the challenge of human resources, the President suggested tapping into the diaspora, including retired individuals, and welcoming foreign lecturers who express interest. Support, such as tickets and residential options, would be provided based on individual preferences.

The President stressed the importance of understanding the expectations of those willing to contribute, and measures have already been introduced to facilitate their involvement. He encouraged clear communication of specific requirements to ensure a seamless process.

To address the human resource shortage, the President proposed exploring the option of attracting non-diaspora lecturers, possibly from Sri Lanka or other countries like India (Bangalore) or the United States. External lecturers would be engaged for a defined period, with Jaffna leading the initiative for other universities to follow.

The President also suggested considering agreements with other universities, allowing them to provide lecturers as needed. This collaborative effort would rely on the commitment of each university to implement these measures successfully. In terms of foreign students, universities were encouraged to decide on enrolment targets based on their willingness and capacity.

In attendance were Fisheries Minister Mr. Douglas Devananda, Member of Parliament Mr. Angajan Ramanathan, President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Jaffna District Secretary Mr. S. Sivabalasundaran, President Trade Union Director General Mr. Saman Ratnapriya, President Community Affairs Director General Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, Jaffna University Vice Chancellor Prof.S.Srisatkunarajah, Vice Chancellor of Vavuniya University Prof. T. Mangaleswaran and a group of doctors and professors.

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