President promises to restore everything destroyed in the north during the war

Monday, 17 June 2013 00:50 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday promised the people in the north that everything destroyed in the region during the three-decade long war would be restored.

“We are in the process of restoring everything that was destroyed over the past 30 years; you all need to protect them,” President Rajapaksa said, speaking in Tamil at an event in Kilinochchi on Saturday. “The war was 30 years long. Development has taken four years. Look at the difference. Your region is developing very fast. It should be developed more.”

The President declared open the renovated A-9 main northern highway in Kilinochchi and the reconstructed airstrip in Iranamadu. Addressing the public, the President said elections for the Northern Provincial Council will take place as planned and that they will have the opportunity and the independence to select representatives who will bring further development to the region.

The President underlined that communal politics are very dangerous and that the country doesn’t need narrow political ideals. He urged people not to believe false publicity, noting that he believes the people will make a decision that won’t ruin their children’s future.

Having declared open a renewed section of the A-9 road and a new airstrip in Iranamadu, a short distance from Kilinochchi, President Rajapaksa said that during the past four years, the region has seen many new facilities in a number of sectors including housing, road development, power, education, health, trade and banking. “We’ll continue to provide more facilities,” President Rajapaksa said.

The 153 kilometre road segment from Galkulama to Jaffna on the A-9 highway that connects the Jaffna Peninsula to Kandy in the centre has been widened to four lanes with dedicated lanes for motorcycles and pedestrians. The entire road has been illuminated with street lamps.

The road was reconstructed by the local contractors in two stages under the supervision of the Ministry of Ports and Highways. The state funded the reconstruction at a cost of Rs. 19.125 billion. The entire highway is now completely renovated for smooth and fast travel.

The President also declared open the runway at Iranamadu in Kilinochchi. The former rebel runway was reconstructed by the Sri Lankan Air Force complying with international standards. It has been widened to 25 meters and extended to 1,500 metres in length. The new runway has been built to accommodate the landing of the largest military cargo plane, a C-130.

The runway, once used by the Tamil Tiger rebels that held power in the area before the end of the war to launch air attacks on the south, was destroyed by the terrorists when the military captured the area.

With the opening of this runway, the Northern Province will have four runways. The other runways are in Mannar, Vavuniya and Palaly. The Government expects the Iranamadu runway to be developed as a domestic airport to boost tourism and passenger transportation.