encouraged that people from all communities have continued toplace their overwhelming confidence in its work, in spite of droughtaffected living conditions. We are also encouraged that the people inthe Eastern Province placed their confidence in the Governmentappreciating resettlement, rehabilitation and re-construction workdone in that province.1.4 Upholding our commitment to transform the Northern Province on asimilar line, the Government has implemented many developmentinitiatives. People have got back to normal family living without thefear of having to lose their children to the LTTE. Access to electricity,education, water, and health facilities is improving rapidly. Bankingand financial institutions have been expanded.
Programhas been expanded providing benefits to eligible families. Childrenenjoy educational tours, visiting the South. They also visit ‘TempleTrees’ and talk to me as well.I see new hope in their faces.1.5 There is a strong enthusiasm in the northern people to find economicprosperity in the newly found environment. The people in the Northappreciate the implementation of Jaffna - Kilinochchi water supplyscheme that provides drinking water to 70,000 families. They are alsoenthusiastic on the
irrigation scheme which takeswater to the
tank. I was encouraged with the level ofparticipation of local representatives at the district consultationmeetings I had prior to this Budget. We remain firmly committed toconduct Provincial Council Elections next year, to facilitatedemocratic representations to promote peace and development.