A historic visit
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday paid a landmark
visit to Killinochchi - the first Southern leader to undertake
such a visit since the visit of Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake
nearly 60 years ago. The visit by President Rajapaksa to
Killinochchi, until recently the de facto political capital of
the LTTE's so-called Eelam, also marks a watershed in the three
and half decade long ethnic conflict. It is a symbolic occasion
heralding the dismantling of hitherto entrenched structures
built by the LTTE and also sends a clear massage that the writ
of the Government is about to take firm root where once the
Tiger terrorists held sway.
The historic visit by President Rajapaksa also comes amidst
the death throes of the once mighty LTTE and as such may well
mark the beginning of a shift in the nation's focus in the
direction of the North and it's people who hitherto existed only
on fringes of the minds of the southern polity. This will no
doubt herald the development of the North as a whole to bring it
on par with the rest of the country. The road may be long and
the journey arduous. But a beginning has been made.
During yesterday's visit the President may also have been
reminiscing on the goodwill of the people of Killinochchi and
Jaffna in general in the past, who were more inclined to support
SLFP Governments which purchased their chilly and onion harvests
giving a shot in the arm to the Jaffna farmer and providing a
boon to the Northern economy.
Hopefully the President with his constant emphasis on
supporting the local producer will be able to revisit that not
so distant past when the economies of the North and the South
were interlinked to the greater benefit of the national economy.
But first the healing of the scars of the three decades long
war should take precedence and this we are certain will be
uppermost in the mind of the President who has already put in
motion several projects and programs towards achieving this
The President's visit to Kilinochchi thus sends a significant
message to the Nation in the just-dawned Sinhala and Hindu New
We must all be grateful to our heroic Security Forces for
liberating Kilinochchi and the rest of the North, shattering the
myth of Tigers' 'invincibility'. By going all the way to
Kilinochchi to meet the troops and expressing gratitude, he has
reminded us all that we are breathing free due to the valiant
efforts of the Forces.
The Presidential visit also serves to highlight the
Government's commitment to develop the newly-liberated areas.
The Government, from the President downwards, has reiterated its
steadfast commitment to uplift the Northern residents and their
region. It is not only a military victory; it is also a people's
By visiting Kilinochchi, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has also
proved the Government's enthusiasm to resolve the national issue
Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Elephant Pass and Mullaitivu have been
regained for the peoples of Lanka. With the LTTE facing
oblivion, the Nation has a golden opportunity for peace and
reconciliation without a ruthless divisive factor.
Peace in our hearts and peace in our land is the New Year
gift borne by the surprise visitor to Kilinochchi.