Friday, July 13, 2007

Freshwater Fish Farming and more in Secretary's visit

The Secretary of the Provincial Ministry of Land, Irrigation, Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock Development & Health and Cooperatives of the Eastern Province, A.R.M. Maharoof, together with the Director of Fisheries, S. Suthakaran,
recently travelled to the Ampara and the Batticaloa Districts.

As part of this trip, they met with individuals involved in agriculture, livestock, and freshwater fish farming in Illukkutchchenai on Sunday, July 8th. Discussions included matters relating to integrated farming and the ways and means to develop these sectors in Ampara District.

The following day, the Secretary was the chief guest at the first-year anniversary of the Kayalvizi Freshwater Fish Farmers Association at the 11th colony in Central Camp. In 1952, under the Galoya Scheme, 150 poor farmer families were settled at this colony on 600 acres of land, and the population has now grown to 2,300 families.

As part of the anniversary activities, the Secretary awarded prizes to the winners of a quiz competition conducted for schoolchildren by the Association. He also visited the sixteen freshwater fish ponds constructed there by the humanitarian organisation World Concern and inspected the condition of the fishes.

During subsequent meetings, the Secretary said that the Eastern Provincial Council hoped to renovate the three tanks [man-made lakes] in Annamalai, Panama, and Illukkutchchenai, for the benefit of Tamil, Sinhalese, and Muslim farmers and freshwater fishermen in the region.

On Tuesday, July 10th, the Secretary introduced 15,000 of the Thelapia Nirotika variety of fishlings at the Neelavanai Periyakulam tank in Ampara District.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

UNDP's Sports for Peace

The United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), with the assistance of the Affected Women's Forum (AWF) and financial support from AusAID, has organized 'Sports for Peace' at the Ampara Urban Council Grounds. The purpose of the event, which drew a large crowd, was to foster inter-communal harmony and peace among the people belonging to the three major ethnic groups in Ampara District.

The programme began with the hoisting of the National Flag by the chief guest Additional Government Agent, J.S.D.M.Asanka Abeywardena, while the UNDP, UN, Sports for Peace, and AWF Flags were raised by OIC-UNDP's Z.M.Jaufar, UNFP's Ms. Zarrina Kurbanova, UNDP’s Ms. Dinesha Suppiah, and Ms. Vaani Simon, respectively. Following this, several doves, symbolizing 'peace’, were released and the traditional oil lamp was lighted by the guests. Religious dignitaries representing Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity then performed their respective religious observances.

Invitation tournaments were arranged for Netball and Cricket and were actively participated in by formidable clubs from Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim areas. The winners were rewarded with sports equipment. Chief Guest Asanka Abeywardena, Guest of Honour Zarrina Kurbanova, and UNDP O.I.C.Jaufer handed over the prizes to the winners.

Among those who participated in the programme were Director of Planning A.A.Bawa, Divisional Secretaries, Officials of the Zonal Education Office, and representatives of UNICEF, UNOCHA, UNCHR, ILO, IOM, UNOPS, UN-HABITAT, and UNFAO.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

GOAL completes Al-Jalal School with Minister Ashraff at opening ceremonies

The Sri Lanka Minister of Housing and Common Amenities, Ferial Ismail Ashraff, was the Chief Guest at the opening ceremony of Al-Jalal Viddyalaya school in Sainthamaruthu on June 25th. Students, teachers, and well-wishers of the school gave the minister an enthusiastic welcome on her arrival, followed by a large procession that included GOAL's Country Director, John Wain, and Team Leader, Stefan McEneaney, as well as the Divisional Secretary for Sainthamaruthu, A.L.M. Saleem.The new three-storey school building was constructed by GOAL Ireland and includes a computer room, a laboratory, and an assembly hall. Minister Ashraff declared the school open by unveiling the plaque on the building, while GOAL's Country Director and the school Principal, A.A. Rasool, cut the ribbons for the openings of the computer room and the school laboratory respectively.

Principal Rasool noted that "the cost of the building together with furniture, computers, sporting equipment, and land was around 110 million Rupees". At the meeting after the opening ceremonies, the Principal further explained that Al-Jalal Viddyalaya was established in 1951 as a mixed school and, after the destruction of the December 2004 tsunami, it was functioning as an evening school at Zahira College in Kalmunai. The current student population is 1,026.

The principal, teachers, students, and others gratefully acknowledged the work of GOAL's John Wain and Stefan Mc Eneaney and honoured them with the draping of gold shoals.Above (left to right): Stephen McEneaney (Team leader - GOAL, Ampara), John Wain (Country Director - GOAL), Minster Ferial Asraff, A.A. Rasool (School Principal), and A.L.M. Saleem (Divisional Secretary - Sainthamaruthu)

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