Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa accompanied H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a visit to Mullaitivu today (25th September).
The President was there to attend to a series of functions organized to coincide with the final resettlement of the remaining IDPs in the Mullaitivu district.
The President attended a meeting at Vellamullivaikkal in Pudukkudiruppu where a large number of resettled people had gathered to pay their gratitude to the President. The President made the visit especially to look into the progress of the government’s multi faceted integrated development activities and public welfare programmes carried out in the area.
Speaking at the event the President said, all should get together irrespective of race and religion and work towards the development of self and the country. He went on to say that the resettlement has been completed and houses for those who are yet to receive houses will be provided with houses through the security forces and other relevant authorities.
The President added that the government is committed in providing assistance in order to develop the north on par with that of other parts of the country. Special assistance programmes have been facilitated to uplift the living standards of the farming and fishing communities and that of people involved in cottage industries he said. He also said that measures will be taken to provide jobs to the unemployed and upgrade educational facilities for the children.
The president distributed gifts packs including dry ration and home appliances to the people. He also gave away self employment loans to deserving individuas. During the function the President was also treated to a lovely performance by some school children. He also took time to pose for photos with the children.
Hon. Ministers Douglas Devananda, Rishad Badiuddin, Gunarathna Weerakoon, Namal Rajapaksa MP, President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, Commander of the Army, Inspector General of Police and a large number of government officials and civilians were present at the function.
The President also declared open the New District Secretariat building of Maritime Pattu division of Mulaitivu. Established to streamline the civil administration of the area the new District Secretary office will also greatly benefit the resettlement assistance and development activities currently in progress.
The resettlement of the last batch of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)s has been completed today. A total of 1186 persons from 361 families were thus resettled on 24th September. Sri Lanka is possibly the only country in the world to have successfully resettled more than 295,000 IDPs within a short period of three years from the time they were rescued by the armed forces in a humanitarian rescue operation in May 2009.
Even though the resettlement is complete the military would continue to assist the resettled people to build their houses and commence their livelihoods. The government has spent US$ 360 million to resettle the 98 percent of the 290,000 IDPs housed in welfare centers at the end of May 2009 when the 30-year armed conflict against the Tamil Tiger terrorists in the North and East came to an end.
Major infrastructure development projects were initiated with the completion of demining work in the former theatre. The development of the road network enabled the free movement of man and machinery. The lifting of travel restrictions and the reducing of high security zones brought a sense of security among the civil populace. The security forces joined hands with the other state actors involved in the northern development to help the people to begin life afresh.
The north is now connected to the national grid. There will be uninterrupted electricity supply to the peninsula after 25 years. The Jaffna Peninsula is to be linked by way of 33KW transmission line from the Kilinochchi substation and construction of another 132KW transmission line from the Killinochchi substation to Chunnakam in Jaffna is in progress under the second stage of the project.
The government’s ambitious development drive has finally bearing fruit. The Northern Province recorded an unprecedented economic growth during the last year. Tourism is booming with thousands of local and foreign tourists visiting the north. Reputed business houses and conglomerates are rushing in to set up branches in Jaffna and elsewhere in the peninsula.
The security forces have ensured the security of the north and with the current development pace it will reach national standards in the near future. For the people of the north future is bright and well.courtesy: Defence.lk