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DateLine Sunday, 27 April 2008





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

First step towards Wanni liberation

The Security Forces have signalled the first step towards the liberation of the Wanni and Mullaitivu Districts by taking control of the Madhu Church and its surrounding areas.

The Security Forces capture of Madhu and Omanthai inflicted terrible blows on the LTTE and the Tigers shameless reaction was to target innocent civilians again by exploding a bomb in a passenger bus in Piliyandala on Friday.

The LTTE made desperate efforts to attract the attention of the world Christian community on Madhu. First, they forced the famous Madhu statue of the Virgin Mary to be taken deep into an LTTE-held area in the Wanni.

Though the Catholic priests of the shrine maintained that the statue was taken out of the church for safety, it was a controversial decision. If the safety of the Madhu statue was the issue, it should have been moved to a cleared area where the Security Forces would have given it the maximum protection.

Even after exerting pressure to move the statue out of the shrine, the terrorists tried to sway international opinion that the Security Forces are damaging the church, one of the most respected places of worship for Lankan Catholics. But by Thursday, the Security Forces liberated the Madhu Church and its precincts with the least damage as the terrorists were forced to withdraw.

Earlier this week, the LTTE lost over 100 of their cadres in Muhamalai in fierce fighting. Though the Security Forces too suffered a number of soldier casualties, they advanced their FDLs by 700 metres, inflicting maximum destruction on the enemy. The high drama at Muhamalai took place after the Security Forces overran the three LTTE bases in Mannar.

With the mounting pressure on terrorism internationally and the Canadian Government’s decision to ban another front organisation involved in the LTTE’s global funding, the Tigers were in total disarray. The defeat in Madhu was strategically a big blow to the LTTE as they desperately tried to keep the morale of their cadres high.

It was under such a situation that the LTTE exploded a powerful bomb in a CTB bus, packed with passengers returning home for the weekend. This was yet another merciless terrorist act which needs the immediate attention of the international community. Can a legitimate Government have any negotiations with an inhuman group of terrorists of this type who invariably target innocent civilians?

It’s time for the international community to wake up from its stupor and support Sri Lanka in its relentless battle against terrorism. Our politicians in the opposition too should bury their petty differences and strengthen the Government’s efforts to eradicate terrorism.

The other significant factor which has disturbed the LTTE is the Government’s effort in restoring normalcy and democracy in the newly liberated Eastern Province.

While development and resettlement goes on at a rapid pace under the Eastern Reawakening program, the Government took the first step towards democracy in the area by successfully conducting the Local Government elections in the Batticaloa District after 13 long years.

The Provincial Council elections for the Eastern Province are slated for May 10. People in the East are now enjoying real freedom and are making an active contribution to the national economy.

The fishing harvest enjoyed in the East has spread to the South. Dairy farmers too are enjoying a flourishing business. Fishing and farming have already paid dividends in the Eastern Province and sooner than later the people in the area would improve their living standard.

The Government’s mega development projects are indeed commendable. The latest in the series is the Uma Oya project which would be inaugurated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday. During President Rajapaksa’s last visit to Tehran, Iran agreed to fund the USD 250 million project that would open a new chapter for Uva-Wellassa and Ruhuna.

Twenty-five thousand acres in Uva-Wellassa and Ruhuna will get water for cultivation during the Yala and Maha seasons under the four-year project, which would fulfill another pledge in the 2005 Mahinda Chinthana.

It would also find a permanent solution to the long-felt problem of drinking water for people in Uva-Wellassa and Ruhuna. The Uma-Oya project, handled 98 per cent by local engineers, would also generate hydropower, adding 100MW to the national grid. Mega irrigation ventures such as Moragahakanda and Rabukkaran Oya have already been launched under the Mahinda Chinthana.

Successive Governments tried to implement the Uma Oya project for nearly five decades without success. As fate would have it, when President Rajapaksa requested Iranian President Ahmadinejad to consider Sri Lanka as a second home and help us to go ahead with this venture, he gladly agreed.

The Muslim community in Sri Lanka would feel especially honoured to welcome the Iranian President. With the Muslims in the East, along with Sinhalese and Tamils enjoying real liberation, the Iranian President’s visit is of added significance.

Muslims in Sri Lanka, in the East or elsewhere in the island, have lived in amity with the Sinhalese and Tamils over the years. But the treacherous terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran chased the Muslims out of Batticaloa, Jaffna and Mannar.

There is no gainsaying the fact that it was Prabhakaran who was instrumental in ethnic cleansing, in the hope that it could make way for his Eelam dream. Prabhakaran’s days are certainly numbered.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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