Visit of Significance
The significance of the President's visit to Kilinochchi the first
ever visit to that town by a Head of Government, was the spirit in which
President Mahinda Rajapaksa decided to meet the men and officers who
were out there hundreds of miles away from their families while the
people were enjoying the New Year holidays. His arrival at the town and
meeting them to share the spirit of the New Year also had in its
background the valued traditions of the country.
The people during the new year season enjoy good food, but one of the
most important traditions was to visit their kinsfolk.
In this instance President Rajapaksa accompanied by the President's
Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa the
commanders of the three armed forces and the Inspector General of Police
were the kinsman that had come to visit the valiant soldiers who had no
opportunity to celebrate their new year at home.
For these men and women in the battle-torn Wanni it would have been a
bleak New Year though they would no doubt have celebrated it in
makeshift fashion with whatever presents and sweetmeats their families,
friends and well-wishers may have sent them.
The element of surprise was also there when they found their
Commander in Chief and President Mahinda Rajapaksa coming to share the
new year with them. He had not only met the senior officers commanding
the troops but also mingled with men in the ranks of the forces and
partook of meals and sweetmeats on the occasion.
If the troops experienced a surprise, a very joyous one, the public
too were surprised as no other Head of State had ever visited
Kilinochchi even when the country had not experienced a war. It was
therefore all the more significant that the President had made this
surprise visit to that town once held by the LTTE terrorist group as
their administrative town with their so-called peace secretariat, that
had only existed to fool the people and the other nations into the
belief that the LTTE was interested in peace talks.
Therefore when President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Kilinochchi he not
only brought good wishes and tidings to the armed forces but also
brought with him the assurance for the Tamil people of the north that
the government would give them freedom from the tyranny of the LTTE
imposed on them with impunity. For the efforts of the armed forces, the
humanitarian operation was planned to free the Tamil people.
Thus in effect the President's visit to Kilinochchi meant he would
meet all those who had sacrificed so much to achieve freedom for the
people of the country while giving the Tamil people their freedom and
dignity to live as equal citizens of the country.