Hon. Governor of the Eastern Province holds discussions with United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs

Discussion on various issues of mutual concern between United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeff Feltman, who is on his first visit to the Eastern Province and the Hon. Governor of the Eastern Province Rohitha Bogollagama was held on 19.07.2017 at the Governor's Secretariat, Trincomalee.

Sri Lanka's constitutional reforms and factors of reconciliations were discussed at the meeting. According to the Governor, a draft is being prepared on constitutional reforms.

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman has vowed his fullest support for the activities of the Eastern Province. Democratic elections and peaceful transition have not only inspired the citizens of Sri Lanka but also captured the attention of the international community, he said.

Governor said, "We are encouraged by this government's commitment to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights. In our view, credible, tangible progress in these areas are a prerequisite to the achievement of sustainable peace and prosperity in the Eastern Province". He also pointed that the state has already resettled the people in their original areas in Sampoor and provided them initial livelihood assistance as well.

Further, HE President Maithripala Srisena has drawn a clear distinction in meeting the legitimate aspirations of all the communities in Sri Lanka, including the Muslim, Tamil and Sinhalese communities of the Eastern Province, Governor said.

The unique feature of the ethnic distribution of the Eastern Province is that all three communities are present in roughly equal ethnic proportions in the province. This long-entrenched culture of tolerance among our people is reflected in the composition of the elected Local and Provincial Councils, where the elected representatives of different communities and political parties are working together to fulfil the aspirations of the people they represent. The elected Members of the Eastern Provincial Council is a clear example of ethnic and political pluralism. The Eastern Provincial Council will be expired on 7th September 2017 according to the Provincial Council Act and thereafter the date will be nominated by the Election Department, Governor said.

Governor has also pointed out that, the Eastern Province produces large quantities of marketable surpluses of paddy. The Eastern coast of the country is renowned for its tourism potential, hospitality and investment opportunities. The statistics of the current rank of education, total number of public servants and shortage of staff in the health sector of the Eastern Province were also been explained. Governor has informed that he has directed the Secretaries and HODs have to set norms associated with equity for distribution of fund.

Hon. Governor invited the international community to assist Sri Lanka in the tourism sector, by investing in the hospitality sector.

Hon. Governor Bogollagama while thanking the delegation for undertaking their visit to Eastern Province, expressed the hope that Sri Lanka and UN could enter into a positive and structured engagement in their relationship. The Chief Secretary Mr. D. M. Sarath Abayagunawardana, Secretary to the Governor Mrs. J. J. Muraleetharan and officials of the UN were present at the meeting.