2:34 PM

Mega projects for Eastern development

Susantha Punchinilame, Minister of Nation Building and Eastern Development said Rs. 8,000 million has been allocated to develop the Eastern Province from this year's budget and of Rs. 2100 million has been allocated to the Ministry of Nation Building at a press conference held at Ratnapura.

He said Rs. 8,000 million will be invested to develop Ampara, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Mullaitivu districts which have 50 divisional secretariat areas including 1208 rural villages and an area of 11514 square kilo metres.

The people living in this areas will be benefited with their basic needs and their living standard will be upgraded. State income will be increased and a population of 1,819,555 will be granted with facilities in the year 2008.

2:29 AM

Japan pledges to eradicate terrorism

Japanese Prime Minister Yasao Fukuda said Japan would always reject terrorism and his Government would take every possible step to stop terror acts.He made these observations when he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo on Monday night.

Addressing a joint news conference at the Prime Minister's Office, the 71-year-old Japanese leader said his Government condemns all forms of terrorism and would take every possible action to eradicate terrorism.He expressed confidence in Sri Lanka's efforts to achieve peace and assured the Japanese Government's fullest support and cooperation to President Rajapaksa's peace efforts.

"I conveyed to the President, Japan's intention to cooperate for peace in Sri Lanka as well as economic development," Fukuda told the media.The Japanese Government increased assistance to Sri Lanka under the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) programme from US$ 320 to $ 400 million per year.

Prime Minister Fukuda is no stranger to Sri Lanka as he was the former President of the Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Association. He held that position for several years before stepping down on his election as Japan's Prime Minister last September.