Sri Lankan president visits warn-torn Northern Province
by Melani Manel Perera
Health, agriculture, education, land and fishing were the main issues discussed with provincial authorities. "The task of bringing together the minds of the people cannot be achieved only through physical development," the president said.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - When resolving issues, there is no differentiation as South or North and the government is fully committed resolve issues faced by people, President Maithripala Sirisena stated during the Northern Province Coordinating meeting held at the Jaffna Secretariat building yesterday. "Everyone should work in goodwill irrespective of differences," said the President.

During his visit, the president met with local officials, including Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran, to discuss local issues, like health, agriculture, education, land and fishing.

The task of bringing together the minds of the people cannot be achieved only through physical development, Sirisena said. For the president, the government's goal is to bridge the gap between North and South through friendship and understanding.

Resolving land issues in the area was a government priority, he said, especially the return to the original owners of lands used for security purposes.

The problem of drinking water was also discussed. President Sirisena said that the government expects to propose clear water supply projects.

One of the most pressing problems concerns the lingering consequences of the long civil war, which was fought in the country's northern and eastern provinces.

Almost 800 war widows live in the Northern Province, women who lost their husbands during the conflict.

The president instructed the Ministry of Women Affairs to take appropriate measures to ensure the welfare of these families.

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