According to plans mooted by the Finance Ministry, the government intends to support community-based co-operative sector by investing in fifty small industries run by over 1,900 regional co-operative movements, in a major bid to spur sustainable and inclusive reconstruction, while generating employment for over 2,500 people.
India has expressed willingness to further partner Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial administration in development initiatives, emphasising the need for a clear economic programme identifying specific areas.
“Valvettithurai is a place that has figured prominently in the politics of Sri Lankan Tamils. Valvettithurai is a coastal town along the Vadamaratchy littoral region of the northern Jaffna peninsula.VVT as Valvettithurai is generally referred to acquired a notorious reputation at one time as the hotbed of smuggling. In later years Valvettithurai became known as the nursery of Tamil militancy. A very large number of VVT youths have been at the forefront of the Tamil armed struggle launched to achieve the secessionist ideal of Tamil Eelam. Chief among these was Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) leader Thiruvengadam Velupillai Prabhakaran.”
“The road blocks and military checkpoints are gone, and the restrictions on foreign tourists and journalists visiting the area have been lifted.
But the mostly Tamil residents of Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula say much more still needs to be done to heal the wounds of a long civil war — and they are pinning their hopes on an upcoming general election.
Jaffna voted overwhelmingly in January’s presidential election to oust the strongman incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse, who maintained de facto martial law in the region.”
Ordinary folk such as S. Sivanesan, a teacher in a government school in Jaffna, says, “We will vote for candidates who are willing to speak on behalf of the Tamil people and their causes. They should be able to help people affected by the war and not able to resettle in their respective land. That’s our immediate need. It has to be done.”
“Anthony Quinn lost his home to the Sri Lankan army at age 17. He’s now 45. He badly limps in injury from shelling during the long war that ended with the government forces crushing the separatist Tamil Tigers. Ever since the military seized his family’s house near the airport of Jaffna, the provincial capital of the north where the fighting raged, Quinn has lived in assorted crude encampments – no privacy, no sanitation. In this one with its barking dogs and corrugated tin walls, he raised four children.”
Shunned, destitute and pushed into prostitution in some cases, Sri Lanka’s Tamil widows have returned to northern Jaffna since the end of the separatist war only to discover they are not welcome even in their homeland.
Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province, and it is also the administrative headquarters of the Jaffna District located on a peninsula of the same name. At one time Jaffna’s population exceeded 85,000. However, by today the number has been reduced to 60,030 and the total population in the Northern Province, which once showed as 734,000 (1981) at present stands at 614,428, according to the Jaffna District Secretariat.
After the end of the war against the LTTE in May 2009, the government began its mega development programs in the Northern Province and the Security Forces also left most of the lands which they were using during the operation period.
The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government is unlikely to hand back large chunks of land back to the Tamils until after the parliamentary elections in September this year, a highly placed official source said.
Land is a sensitive subject in Sri Lanka, which is why power over it is held by the Central government in Colombo, even though it is a Provincial subject under the 13 th. Amendment of the Constitution. Sensitivity is particularly high in the case of lands seized from the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces for strategic reasons during the war.
It is nearly two months since the Sri Lankan army returned V. Yogeswaran’s land and house in Palai Veemankamam, about 15 km from Jaffna. Yet, he just can’t believe it that his property has been restored to him.