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The Jaffna International Airport was declared open by President Maithripala Sirisena in Palaly today (17).Prime Minister Ranil Wickresminghe, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Arjuna Ranatunga along with other dignitaries graced the inaugural event. Sri Lankan transport minister Arjuna Ranatunga said the airport built with Indian assistance marks an important development for the region as well as whole of Sri Lanka.Marking inauguration of Jaffna International Airport, Alliance Air (the subsidiary of Air India) launched a flight to the airport with invitees from the aviation industry on Thursday. Jaffna will be the airline’s 55th and first international addition to the list.

The runway length has been extended from 950 to 1,400 metres to facilitate ATR 72 aircraft carrying 70 passengers. Formerly known as Palaly Airport and Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Palaly, the airport has a history tracing back to Second World War wherein it was built by the Royal Air Force of Britain and served as the country’s second international airport before being taken over by the Sri Lanka Air Force.Under phase 2, the runway length will be extended up to 2300 metres allowing for bigger aircrafts. The decision to develop the Jaffna Airport to operate regional commercial flights was taken on August 6.

The Cabinet memorandum in this regard was submitted by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to develop the airport to operate commercial flights and to promote tourism. Sri Lankan government is also planning to develop Batticalao airport in eastern province to improve connectivity.

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that building a productive young generation,equipped with knowledge, skills and high quality values is the need of the hour.The President in a message on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day, which falls today said that the government and the elders should commit to create a better society for the children and ensure a secure and friendly environment for them.

“It is the responsibility of a government and the elders to totally commit to creating a better society for the children and ensure a secure and friendly environment for them,” he said

President Maithripala yesterday (29) attended several development programmes in Polonnaruwa. As the first event of the series of programmes, President handed over new Dhamma School building constructed under “Pibidemu Polonnaruwa” at Kanichchagala Sri Sambodhi Vihara in Weheragala.The Chief Incumbent Ven. Ellande Sugathasiri Thero and Maha Sanga in the area, Governor of the North Central Province Sarath Ekanayake, Mayor of Polonnaruwa Chanaka Sidath Ranasinghe were present on the occasion.President also joined the occasion to vest the new monastery constructed at a cost of Rs. 3.5 million under “Pibidemu Polonnaruwa” programme at Sri Saddarmaloka Vihara in Galeliya with Maha Sanga.

The Chief Incumbent Ven. Thannalande Upali Thero and Maha Sanga was present.The new monastery built at Weheregala Mahasen Raja Maha Viharaya was also handed over to Maha Sanga by President.President also participated in the distribution of books to school libraries in the district and houses to low income families.The Chief Incumbent Ven. Akbopura Naradha Thero and Maha Sanga were present on the occasion.

The government of People’s Republic of China has donated several equipment including drugs and explosive detector worth Rs. 750 million to Sri Lanka. The Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan officially handed the equipment to President Maithripala Sirisena at President’s Office today (27).

The Election Commission has announced the dates for the postal voting of the Presidential Election 2019. Accordingly, the postal voting election will be held on the 30th and 31st of October.

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