KKS cement factory to remain closed

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 March 1999, 18:26 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) stalled a proposal by the Governor of the Northeastern province that steps should be taken to reopen the cement factory in Kankesanthurai (KKS) in the Jaffna peninsula.

Defence ministry officials said today that the re-opening of the factory is not possible because it is located in the high security zone of the Palaly-KKS military base complex.

It would not be possible for the army, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), to screen more than 1000 persons who will enter the high security zone daily to work in the cement factory.

gooneratne_c_v-p.gifNortheastern provincial council (NEPC) officials who returned from meetings in Colombo about the development and rehabilitation of the region said that the Governor was of the view that the factory had to be re-opened in its former premises at KKS, contrary to suggestions by SLA earlier that it should be moved elsewhere in view of its security concerns.

The Northeast governor (ret) Maj.General Asoka Jayawardana, NEPC chief secretary Mr.G.krishnamoorthy and Mr.S Vinayagalingam, secretary to the NEPC ministry of rehabilitation and reconstruction met with officials of the Sri Lankan government's ministry of industrial development, the Industrial Development Board and MoD on Friday February 26 to discuss the rehabilitation and development of industries in the Northeast province.

The minister of Industrial development Mr. C.V Gooneratna who was scheduled to take part did not turn up for the meeting; and instead sent the secretary to his ministry.

It was agreed in principle at the discussion that a high level planning committee for industrial development would be set up to study the situation in the northeast and submit proposals.

NEPC officials said that the rehabilitation of industry in the region is a tough task mainly due to the SLA's restrictions.

They also pointed out that the main industrial plants in the northeast such as the Paranthan Chemical factory, the Pulmoddai Ilmenite processing plant, the Valaichenai paper factory etc., are either occupied by the SLA or are in high security zones.

 

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