SOUTHERN DEVELOPMENT PROJECT TO BE LAUNCHED TODAY

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The Southern Development Project – one of the key initiatives of the government in its economic development program – is scheduled to be launched today.

It will be carried out under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Mirijjawila investment promotion zone.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said only 1,235 acres of land will be given from Hambantota to the Chinese companies for investment.

Participating in a discussion with the Buddhist prelates of Hambantota at the Walawa Jayawardenarama Temple in Ambalantota, the Premier said the rest of the 15,000 acres of land proposed for investment will be taken from other districts.

He said the responsibility to select the rest of the land will be assigned to Law and Order and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayake and Hambantota district Parliamentarian Chamal Rajapaksa.

At the discussion, the chief incumbent of the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara Devalegama Dhammasena thera explained to the Prime Minister that the Maha sangha was against giving land to the Chinese companies.

The Premier earlier said the 95 percent of the land that will be given to Chinese companies will be state-owned uninhabited land and the remaining five percent will be private land for which the government will pay compensation.

The Premier added if land is not given from Hambantota, the government will find land from other districts such as Matara, Ratnapura and Monaragala for development projects.

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