President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a high-level 48-member task force to direct, coordinate and monitor development activities in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, according to a Gazette notification. The task force, chaired by the President, will review the development projects so far launched in the Northern and Eastern Provinces since the end of the conflict and accelerate the development process.
The task force members include Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, 15 Cabinet ministers, the Governors of the two provinces, the Chief Ministers of the two provinces, secretaries to several ministries and Commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force . The task force is expected to review status of progress of various sectoral plans, programmes and projects now being implemented in the two Provinces. It will also initiate and formulate new plans, programmes and subjects targeting sectors and groups that need priority attention. It will facilitate finances for projects and programmes and encourage and enlist the support and participation of the private sector, bilateral and multilateral development institutions, for investing and implementing development projects and programmes in the two Provinces.
It will also coordinate work between the Government and provincial administrations and between Public and private sectors and non-governmental and civil society sections and carry out overall monitoring of the implementation of the development activities in the regions. The task force will also identify any constraints which impede expeditious implementation of development programmes in the regions and advise the relevant authorities on speedy solutions to overcome them. Former Rehabilitation Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy has been appointed as the task force secretary.