Liberation and development in Eastern
When the Government launched a series of
operations in the Eastern Province, some interested elements both here
and abroad tried to paint a different picture. They raised issues such
as human rights, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and war mentality
in a desperate bid to help the LTTE terrorists.
However, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government had a clear
cut vision. The aim of those limited operations was purely humanitarian.
Lanka's brave security forces battled to liberate innocent civilians in
the Eastern Province from the clutches of the LTTE terrorists.
The so-called sole representatives and the saviours of the Tamil
community even denied a basic need such as water to their own people.
Not only the Tamils, but even Muslims and the Sinhalese underwent untold
hardships in the Eastern Province. The Tigers did everything possible
for their survival. They used civilians as a human shield to the very
end in Vakarai. But our forces liberated all of them in a highly
The successes in Mavil Aru, Vakarai and Sampur took the wind off the
sail of Tiger power from the Eastern Province, pushing the remaining
terrorists to the dense jungle in Thoppigala. Many thought the story
But the real battle started thereafter. The Government had to meet
the challenge of looking after thousands of IDP's. At the same time, the
Government had to clear all mine fields, reconstruct roads and develop
infrastructure facilities. Reconstruction and building of houses and
other public places had to be done in next to no time.
Under the able assistance of all relevant Ministries and officials
concerned, the Government was able to meet this gigantic task. The
resettlement process is now taking place at a rapid pace.
Though the LTTE and some INGOs made a big hue and cry about a large
number of IDPs, it has not been proved as those figures were highly
It has now been proved that the Government has made a sincere effort
to liberate innocent civilians who were living in the East under
numerous hardships. The LTTE showed no mercy whatsoever to them and only
used those poor people as a shield for their terrorist activities.
Thanks to the valiant efforts of the brave sons of this land, those
Eastern civilians now enjoy an atmosphere where they could hold their
heads high. All they knew previously was the so-called liberation of the
LTTE terrorists. But now, they have understood what real liberation
The Tiger terrorists, together with their sympathisers, now spread
the rumour that the resettlement process is taking place forcibly. This
is a cooked up story of the LTTE to mislead the international community.
Civilians moving to re-developed Eastern villages are doing so on their
own accord. They are highly impressed with the resettlement program.
In the aftermath of losing the East, the LTTE is running out of
options. They know only too well the same could befall the North as
well. All what they are now tying to do is to prevent a similar
scenario. The LTTE has to satisfy the Tamil Diaspora or else they would
lose their international funding.
It is due to their sweat and toil that Prabhakaran is enjoying a
luxurious life and provides foreign education to his children. While
innocent minors are being forced to take to arms to back the LTTE,
Prabhakaran and his family enjoys a cosy life.
The day the international Tamil community realises these double
standards is not far. The liberation and resettlement of Eastern
civilians would send a clear signal to people in the Northern Province.
The Northern Tamil community would no longer believe Prabhakaran's
The Government did not wait for international funding to develop the
East. While accepting the international contributions, the Government
quite rightly understood that the development of the East cannot be
Be it people in the North, East, South or West of the country, they
belong to the Lankan family. It's the duty of the Government to look
after all communities. The Government has never shirked this
True enough we need a great deal of money in a major redevelopment
drive but at the same time, the Government is making every endeavour to
meet this challenge. By these humanitarian acts, the Government has
unequivocally proved its sincere efforts to treat all communities alike.
While the Security Forces continue to liberate innocent civilians
from blood-thirsty LTTE terrorists, the quest for a negotiated
settlement would continue. The Government has always proved that it is
making a sincere effort to find a solution at the negotiating table.
But the LTTE terrorists continue to harass their own people and keep
more faith on the bullet. They have not only been a threat to Sri Lanka
but also to neighbouring India and world peace.
The time is now opportune for the international community, if they
are genuinely interested in a negotiated settlement to use all possible
channels to woo the Tigers from their Wanni jungles to a peace forum.
The Government's efforts alone to find a peaceful solution would not be
fruitful without the LTTE's participation.
We fervently hope the co-chairs and all the big players in the
international arena would induce the LTTE to open a dialogue that would
lead to a negotiated settlement.