Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 15 May 2011





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette
ON THE TRAIL OF VICTORY - Sunday Observer pays tribute to the Security Forces on Second Anniversary

Northern resurgence in full swing

The Jaffna Library after it was rebuilt

The war on terrorism instigated by the LTTE not only destroyed lives and limbs of thousands of people, but also damaged economic self-sufficiency of the Northerner.

The North East boasted of the best economic zone in Achchuweli and there were many industries that provided raw material and machinery for agriculture, fisheries and many other sectors. It was said that the tire rebuilding factory that was in Jaffna was so efficient that motorists used to send tires from Colombo by train to be rebuilt in Jaffna.

The banking sector too was very vibrant while the Northerner was self-sufficient in both agriculture and fisheries and the excess was sent for Colombo.

Until the troubles erupted in the 1980s, the region's agricultural production compared favourably with that of other parts of the country, specifically rice, vegetables, fruit, and other cash crops. During the last two decades, however, farmers, organisations collapsed, irrigation systems were damaged, and displaced populations have experienced severe barriers to enter the market.

Market full of goodies

Fisherfolk back to business

Fish, grapes and onions from the North were some of the much looked forward to products from Jaffna. The North and East were two key provinces that contributed highly to the national economy and GDP.

However, Prabhakaran and the LTTE were not keen on maintaining this pattern and were only interested in gathering arms and destroying the livelihoods of the people and taking the country backwards.

The result was the closure of the industrial zone and other factories with the end result being the breaking up of the self-sufficiency of the Northerner and making them financially at a loss and forcing them to be dependent on handouts.

However, with the end of the conflict and life getting back to normality, the Northerners woke up quickly and are now rebuilding their lives slowly but surely, trying to make the area a self-sufficient region once again.

One of the key factors that slowed the agricultural sector, was the closure of the market due to breaking up of transport from Colombo to Jaffna. The second factor was the limitation of land due to landmines. Another factor was the taxes that were taken by the LTTE. The disruption of the train service too was a major negative factor for both agriculture and fisheries sectors.

Whenever goods were transported to Colombo, the LTTE taxed them at three points while the Army too checked vehicles for suspicious items resulting in the delay of cargo reaching Colombo. Due to this it took more than 24 hours for cargo to reach Colombo and many items could not be sent as they had perished on the way.

With the ending of the war, the first benefit the Northern entrepreneur got was the zero taxes.

With the clearing of landmines once again, land was available for them to use in agriculture and for dairy farms.

The embargo on fishing too was taken off, giving fishermen a larger area in the sea and thereby giving them additional revenue.

One must also thank the private sector, Chambers and some NGOs who came forward to assist by way of providing the Northerners with new technology and small and medium sector machinery at concessionary rates. Private companies such as CIC have already started building two new plants for the manufacture of dairy products and vineyard while the real estate sector too is picking up, thus reaping the benefits of peace.

The State banks too played a major role in this regard, extending a special credit line.

The government on its part got about rebuilding the much needed infrastructure thus helping the Northerner to get back to business.

Economic Development Minister, Basil Rajapaksa pointed out that 60 percent of aid given by lending agencies had been diverted for the development of the North and East of Sri Lanka which was devastated by the 30-year-prolonged war against terrorism.

The government has accorded maximum support for immediate development and resettlement of IDPs in the North.

Recently the Government announced that President has wanted all internally displaced persons in the North to be resettled in their respective places as soon as possible.

Economic Development Minister, Basil Rajapaksa has shouldered the responsibility of gearing up the process to meet this target and according to latest information Government Agents, top civil authority of the northern districts of Vavuniya and Mullaitivu have launched this program to be completed within a specified time period.

The launching of the construction of the new Regional Agricultural Centre in Nedunkerni took place under the patronage of Minister Rajapaksa. The work is undertaken with foreign assistance.

The rail link is being rebuilt while the main road which still is a major concern has caught the government's attention. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) too came to the fore providing speedy power lines and intensifying the rural electrification process.

The Board of investment realising the potential in the region, has opened a regional branch mainly to tap the Tamil Diaspora. Both the Achchuweli and Trincomalee economic zones are being reopened.

In a bid to attract Investors, trade fairs are being conducted every three months which is a timely move.

Public transport despite the bad roads has picked up with over 12 air-conditioned luxury buses taking off from Colombo and Jaffna each night. The SLTB also operates over 10 buses per day to Jaffna. There is going to be another road from Colombo through Negombo, Puttalam, Mannar, through Wilpattu to Sangupiddi bridge to Jaffna which will be the West Coast highway.

The Sangupiddi Bridge too was another landmark project carried out by the government.

Land prices have picked up, while there are over 5 to 10 new vehicles and tractors sold every month.

Two of the major projects that are on the way are the KKS Harbour and Palali airport expansion according to international standards. The Indian government is lending a helping hand in this regard.

The opening of the Oluvil harbour which can be used for fisheries and international cargo by the end of the year would usher prosperity to the Eastern province as it would bring in more investors.

Tourism potential for the region is huge and this is an area that would be a major thrust in the future.

Related Stories | Home

  • Northern resurgence in full swing





Donate Now |
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)

| News | Editorial | Finance | Features | Political | Security | Sports | Spectrum | Montage | Impact | World | Obituaries | Junior | Magazine |


Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2011 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor