Sunday, July 24, 2011


It's time for expats to develop North

  • Sunday, July 24, 2011
  • Arunthathi Kanagaratnam
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  • Sellasamy is among thousands of voters in Northern Sri Lanka who exercised their franchise at the local government polls in the North, that concluded yesterday. Being a pro-government supporter, whose generations were SLFPers, he is confident that the government would expand its stronghold in the North at the election.

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa being welcomed in Jaffna

    Overjoyed at seeing President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who visited the doorstep of the Northern Tamils, Sellasamy said many villagers felt the warmth of the Head of State who rescued thousands of civilians from the iron grip of LTTE terror.

    “We now see development. We have peace now. We don't have to run for our lives at night. What more we want”, he queried showing the newly tarred road. The tarred road, which leads to the main town remained bumpy previously, has now made their travel easy and fast.

    With his tour to the North, President Rajapaksa goes into Lanka's history as the leader, who had the longest stay in the North since independence. From Monday to Wednesday, he visited Kayts, Kopai, Pooneryn, Chavakachcheri, Jaffna and Kilinochchi met people and initiated several development projects in the North.

    The President who addressed several public rallies said he was delighted to speak in Tamil and appealed to the Tamil diaspora who still attempt to disrupt normalcy, tarnish country's image and pumped massive amount of money to the LTTE, to invest money to develop the North and also to improve the living conditions of Northern Tamils.

    At the ceremony to lay the foundation for a hospital complex at the Regional Hospital in Pooneryn, he said it was urgent to rebuild the country which was pushed back by 30 years of ruthless LTTE terrorism.

    People in the North warmly welcomed the President, and appreciated his leadership for saving them from terror and also the government's support to develop their villages.

    Uthuru Wasanthaya

    "The Government has provided all the facilities for the North. Uthuru Wasanthaya (Northern Springs) brought spring to the people of the North. It is necessary for the people in the North to join the Government’s nation building endeavours. The North will not be a difficult area or underdeveloped area anymore. The government has taken steps to provide all the facilities for health, education, agriculture, trade, transport and all other infrastructure facilities on par with the rest of the country. y constructed Sangupiddi Bridge is a gift for everyone in the North.

    There is a segment of people who depend on NGO money and try to disrupt unity among the communities which are living peacefully. They lead luxurious lives abroad while their own people are still struggling to stand on their own feet. Trust and believe me and my government. We did not give any false promises. We have kept the promise and strived to achieve what we promised. The future of the country is our children. This government will always ensure a peaceful and better future for the children of this country. We will never leave room for terror to raise its head again", he said.

    "I don't want to recall how children in these areas lived in fear of terror. They all were drowned in darkness for over three decades. There was no certainty in their lives. What was the hope they had about their children's future? This government has the responsibility of giving the lost future to these people.

    Some ask why this government wants to serve the people who did not vote for them, but as the President of all the people in this country I have a responsibility to look after everyone. Let's join hands together to defeat all the forces who try to divide. We will live together. We will work together. This is our country. We will together rebuild our villages and the country.

    I know how you have suffered for a long time. We will spend a large amount of money to develop the North. The government has given priority to develop the education sector in the North and education is the only resource that cannot be robbed. You all should give priority to your children's education.

    We should live together as one family. The government does not care about cast, creed or religion but we serve all as we want to live in unity.

    Addressing the people in Tamil he said the government had to spend millions of rupees to rebuild hospitals in the North destroyed by LTTE terrorists however, all the hospitals in the North would be reconstructed soon.

    "We know how you suffered three years back. We will not allow anyone to take you to that dark period of Sri Lanka's history. I personally know the agony that you have undergone. We were able to restore the democratic rights of the people in the North. Human rights have been restored and this government would take all steps to maintain a peaceful situation".

    "The government launched several projects to look after widows in the North and the objective is to give them decent lives and also to support them to stand on their own feet. The North went back 30 years and within the short time period of two years we have been able to develop the Northern areas. We have restored the Kokavil Telecommunication tower and connected the North with the rest of the world.

    The government is committed to upgrade education, health and social facilities among the Northern people. We have given priority to improve sports facilities in the North. You should produce cricket captains like Muralitharan from your areas. It is time for Dharmalingams, Rajalingams, and Devarajs to come forward. It is time to bring up sportsman like Nagalingam Edirweerasingham from the North. This is my wish and I will not allow it to remain a dream. I will support the North to make that dream a reality".

    It was at the public rally in Chavakachcheri Urban Council Grounds that President Rajapaksa invited all educated and patriotic Sri Lankans abroad to return to the country and join with the government to make the future of their own people, who suffered under deadly terror for decades, better.

    Our motherland

    "This country belongs to everybody. This is our motherland. Although they live abroad this country belong to their children. It is the responsibility of everyone to work for the country. There is no use of trying keep old wounds as we have to move forward. We need to stand up unitedly to make this country a better place for tomorrow's children".

    "You voted me at the last Presidential elections and you gave your support for the victory of the UPFA. This is the time for you to elect your own people to solve your problems. We should not wait till experts from other countries come to solve our problems.

    We need to get together to solve our problems. Some parties try to mislead innocent people in the North to achieve their own agendas but I strongly believe that it is difficult to mislead you now. We know you will take the correct path".

    "The rehabilitated youth are doing well today. They have integrated successfully into society. Some are given jobs abroad. The rest who are still undergoing rehabilitation will be handed over to their families soon. The Government intends to grant compassionate justice to rehabilitated youth in the North. The resettlement process is going well.

    “We are children of one mother. This country belongs to all of us. Everyone should live with equal rights in this country that belongs to your children. Everyone should live with self-respect”, the President said.

    “Every person in the country is now experiencing freedom. Jaffna is no exception. Everyone throughout the country is enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. People were badly affected by the conflict for over 30 years, but the country is now free from the clutches of terrorism and freedom and democracy is being enjoyed everywhere.

    The government rendered yeoman service to solve the problem which hampered the country’s progress for 30 years. This government, which united this country, achieved victory over terrorism that had its global echoes. The country is now marching forward with determination, strength and courage to raise our motherland to a position of greatness in the world”.

    “The Government will bring this nation to a position of greatness in this world, implementing the policy of Mahinda Chinthana: Vision for the future. The government will establish a better future for you and your children. This country will be driven forward with more courage, strength and confidence,” he said.

    The President said certain people are spreading false rumours since they cannot bear the success and achievement of the government. Most of these people who spread rumours are living abroad and their children are also schooling abroad. But they talk about the North.

    “I request these short-sighted people not to betray the country by trying to hamper its progress. Today the country is governed by a President of the UPFA which has significant power. The country can be driven forward by this government only. Rural areas that were ignored from the days of imperial rule are being developed and the nation’s doors are open for new employment, industry, business opportunity and massive development,” he said.

    He assured to provide these areas with better facilities including infrastructure development, technological advancement, educational facilities, health facilities and much more. “When development spreads and the revolution of roadways expands we will have several cities that are not second in any way to Colombo. This will inevitably lead to a completely different image of Sri Lanka that the world will see tomorrow”.

    “We have carried out development work in the North and East as never before in the history of these regions,” the President said.

    During his three-day visit, he visited Keeramalai to handover 100 new houses built by the Army to resettled people and also met officials of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service at Vasavilan. President Rajapaksa also inaugurated the construction of the Kilinochchi International Sports complex, the first such sports facility in the North.

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