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Sri Lanka sets up agency to oversee southern development

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is to set up a new private sector-style body with a board of directors to handle economic development of the entire southern region, an economically lagging area part of which is a stronghold of ousted former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The proposed southern Provincial Development Board has been tasked with formulating and implementing programs aimed at social and economic development of the southern region.

It will be funded by the national government budget and cover the Galle, Matara, Hambantota and Moneragala districts and the Kolonna and Embilipitiya divisional secretariat divisions in the Ratnapura district.

The southern region has been a hot bed of two left wing youth insurgencies and has long been neglected economically.

The new organisation, proposed by Sagala Ratnayake, Minister of Southern Development, will consist of a board of directors including chairman and director general.

The ministry is responsible for the southern economic region including the Hambantota economic zone and airport and seaport logistics centres and the southern tourism zone , according to the proposal.
(Colombo/November 13 2015)

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