- Title: SRI LANKA: Mahaveli Waters Flow Into Thirsty Paddy Fields.
- Date: 9th January 1976
- Summary: 1. WV river dam 5 ft 2. National flags 7 ft 3. Mrs. Bandaranaike arrives (3 shots) 15 ft 4. Traditional dance 19 ft 5. WS people 21 ft 6. Mr. Bandaranaike with people 22 ft 7. Mrs. Bandaranaike lights traditional oil lamp (2 shots) 27 ft 8. WV people 28 ft 9. Speech by Mrs. Bandaranaike 31 ft 10. People listening 32 ft 11. Buddhist monks sitting (2 shots) 37 ft 12. Mrs. Bandaranaike operates the switch 41 ft 13. WV river 45 ft 14. Helicopter 47 ft Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 24th January 1976 12:00
- Location: COLOMBO, SRI LANKA
- Country: Netherlands
- Reuters ID: LVA2PNBBQLLQEWPO3IWWXTENPHEZ
- Story Text: Saffron-robed buddhist monks chanted prayers and thousands of farmers cheered wildly as Prime Ministers Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike pressed a button to divert water from Sri Lanka's biggest river into parched areas of the north central province.
The ceremony, held at the auspicious time of 1917 (local) at Polgolla near Kandy in the central hill country, marked completion of the first stage of a 10,000 million Rupee (about one thousand three hundred million U.S. dollars) project using the River Mahaveli for irrigation and electricity generation.
Mrs. Bandaranaike told the estimated 500,000 strong crowd of farmers, monks, cabinet ministers and diplomats that the project, aided by the world bank, would make the country self-sufficient in food and help revitalise the economy.
As the diverted river water began to flow a five-mile (8 km) tunnel into the dry zone, thanksgiving services were held in temples, churches and mosques and 2,000 beggars were given a free meal.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None