Sri Lankaís first ever botanical garden in the dry zone, Mirijjawila Botanical Gardens, will be opened parallel to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November, National Botanical Gardens Director General Dr. Cyril Wijesundara said yesterday.
He said the opening ceremony will be marked by a tree planting campaign attended by Commonwealth state leaders and Youth Forum participants of the CHOGM.
Dr. Wijesundara said a rehearsal on this opening was conducted at the botanical garden premises on Saturday. The botanical garden has an extent of 300 acres. The government allocated Rs. 500 million for the projectís first phase. The first phase of the project, which was started in 2008, is to be completed by the end of this year.
The Director General said as the botanical garden is close to the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport and Hambantota Port, it will be a tourist attraction. It is located on the Colombo-Kataragama main road. Dr. Wijesundara said CHOGM 2013 will be a valuable opportunity to promote the countryís tourism industry, as Sri Lanka will be the focal point of attention of the local and international media during this international conference.
He said the rich biodiversity, peaceful environment and opportunities for eco-tourism in the country could be highlighted using this summit. Dr. Wijesundara said the exposure it provides will enable to attract leading business community and thereby gain more investment to the country.