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Sri Lanka Cabinet holds first meet

world Updated: Jul 14, 2010 17:40 IST

Sri Lankan government on Wednesday held the first ever Cabinet meeting in Tamil heartland of Kilinochchi, the erstwhile administrative capital of the vanquished LTTE, where President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced reduction in prices of fuel for northern region.

The meeting was held at the security forces headquarters this morning.

The Cabinet decided to reduce the price of diesel, petrol and kerosene in the Jaffna peninsula by Rs 3 with immediate effect.

"The weekly Cabinet meeting commenced in Kilinochchi at 10.00 am on Wednesday under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapakse," a statement said.

The meeting was conducted at the administrative building of the defence forces headquarters near the Iranamadu tank.

Provincial Chief Ministers were invited to participate at the Cabinet meeting which reviewed the progress in northern province.

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the government has decided to hold Cabinet meetings in other districts of the country in future.

This is also the first time a central Cabinet meeting is being held in the northern province.

After the meeting President Rajapakse held discussions on the development activities so far carried out in the district since the end of the war against the LTTE.

The President also addressed a public rally at Iranamadu where he also spoke in Tamil.

The Cabinet Secretary, government officials and the Presidential and Ministerial Security Division made arrangements to hold the meeting in Kilinochchi following the decision made to hold Cabinet meetings in different provinces, an official statement said.

The Cabinet usually meets once a week at "Temple Trees", the official residence of President, in Colombo.

Sri Lankan forces liberated Kilinochchi from the LTTE in January 2009 following a fierce battle. The rebels had their administrative centre in Kilinochchi.

The intention of holding the Cabinet meeting in Kilinochchi was an effort to reach out to the local people.

"Since all the ministers will be there local people could find solutions for their burning problems," Rambukwella had told reporters while announcing the decision to hold the cabinet meeting in Kilinochchi.

Rajapaksa also presided over the function to launch a mobile service to solve the burning problems of the people in the district.