Army lay ground work for development
Cleaning up a church premises in Pudukkudirippu
The Sri Lankan armed forces made supreme sacrifices in liberating
their motherland from the LTTE jackboot.
Today they are the driving force behind the gigantic development
drive launched by the government to rebuild the war-ravaged North East
to ensure a better life to its community.
While the Sri Lankan Government initiated rebuilding the war torn
North, the Sri Lanka Army continued their humanitarian mission during
the last stages of the war in the Pudukuduyirippu, Puthumathalan and
Vellamullivaikkal areas in the Mullaitivu district. Today the entire
area is free from all traces of terrorism.
The gallantly on the part of our soldiers is such that during the
height of the war at the risk of their lives. Fourman teams crawled to
the other side of an LTTE bund for surprise attacks in an area dotted
with Anti Personnel mines. They overpowered their sense of fear with
courage and determination. They destroyed LTTE terrorists and saved the
We witnessed ourselves in our special assignment, the efforts of
soldiers of the Sri Lanka Armys Task Force 8, commanded by Brigadier G.V.
Ravipriya, in making the Pudukkudirippu, Puthumathalan and
Vellamullivakkal areas rise from debris.
Cleaning up a school
Vehicles of civilians
The recovered 26 feet long torpedo launcher
Clearing process in the Thenipuram Village
Pix: Thilak Perera
It gave us a glimpse of the efforts of the Sri Lanka Army deployed in
the entire Northern Province in rebuilding a land that faced endless
The entire area, especially places of common interest are getting a
The area is dotted with Hindu temples and churches of different
dimensions. Be it a small kovil under a huge tree worshipped by a small
village community or a large multi coloured fascinating kovil in a more
populated areas all are given similar consideration, protection and
care. For the soldier it is not the size of the kovil that matters but
the belief of the common man needs to be respected.
According to Brigade Commanders the renovation work started after two
search and clear operations were carried out after the battle.
Troops were redeployed during the latter part of May to commence the
search and clear operations. Loads of weapons, ammunition, thousands of
Anti Personnel mines and similar items were recovered along with heaps
of gold jewellery believed to have been buried before fleeing by
civilians or mercantile banks that were operating under LTTE control.
The search and clear operations are being conducted for the third
time by the Sri Lanka Army to trace even the minute element that poses a
threat to the community life.
From dawn to dusk soldiers work to make the area clear and safe for
the civilians to be resettled in the near future. Yes, these men are
still unwearying even after three years of continuous fight to flush out
the LTTE terrorism from the island nation. Irrespective of cast or
creed, their selfless thought was to create a conducive environment for
the people to live in peace and harmony.
They are ready to assist the Government at any time to start
resettlement in these areas. These soldiers do not demand overtime, they
pose no strikes threats even under dire conditions but they are willing
to survive with minimum facilities.
Our soldiers are experts in the art of repairing and rebuilding as
they are the sons of the average villager. They are handy at work and
mending a roof, rebuilding a wall is not a big job for them. They clean
school buildings, repair community halls, kovils etc.
They clear the areas overgrown with thickets that block access roads.
First they made the land clear of landmines, AP mines and any other
booby traps that were laid by the LTTE.
The soldiers help rebuilding the schools so that the children who
were denied schooling under the LTTE dispensation could resume their
Thousands of vehicles of all types, push bicycles, motorbicycles,
three wheelers, vans, jeeps as well as heavy vehicles, left by the
displaced people before they fled the ruthless terrorists are all stored
systematically by the soldiers. Any owner can claim for his or her
meagre property producing evidence of proof to the local authorities.
The Government has already started its plans for the rapid
development of these areas with much emphasis on infrastructure
developments. Though the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu areas faced the most
fearsome and deadliest phase of the battle the development initiatives
are not lagging behind!
The recent visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Mulankavil to
address the valiant men of Sri Lanka Army signifies the
never-diminishing concern for the liberators as well as government
development priorities. Such areas were never visited by any of the past
leaders of the country.