(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – The United States Embassy will close down the ‘Voice of America’ radio station and hand over the land leased out for it in Iranawila, Puttlam back to the Government of Sri Lanka.
The lease on the land was scheduled to expire in 2020.
Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Rajitha Senaratne addressing the weekly Cabinet briefing said the land spanning an extent of 166.038 hectares was leased out to the American Embassy in 1991 for a twenty year period to establish the Voice of America transmission station in Sri Lanka.
The US Embassy had been paying an annual lease of US$ 40,000 for the land to the General Treasury since being granted the land in 1991.
In December 2016 however, the Embassy had informed the Government that they would close down the station and return the land. Hence Cabinet granted approval to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, headed by the Prime Minister to take over the land, develop it as an eco-friendly investment/tourism zone and to call for proposals from interested investors.