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First Head of State ever to visit Kilinochchi

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.



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