Business Times

Urgent need to consult the North: BT Editorial


The government has eradicated terrorism in the north and now it wants to have a firm grip on it. The Central Bank has got the banks and the finance companies to open shops in Jaffna district to show the world that the government is now developing Jaffna.

As part of this campaign, a foundation stone was laid in a hurry by the governor to construct a hotel in Nallur. Politicians, especially the Minister for Tourism and the Minister representing Jaffna, Douglas Devananda and the Mayor of Jaffna were not invited for this function.

One cannot understand what the Central bank governor has got to do with a hotel project. Even we do not know who the investor or promoter of the hotel is. The only ‘consolation’ given by the governor is preference for Jaffna citizens in the share issue. In a free market environment I do not know how this is possible. It will be another face saving exercise to mislead the Sri Lankans. As your editorial has pointed out the opportunity is far away for the Jaffna entrepreneur to invest in tourism.

Further, how did The Finance Co come into possession of this land in Nallur? Is it an outright purchase? Or did the company foreclose this property that was mortgaged by an unfortunate Jaffna citizen? Have the authorities considered the impact on the environment by this project?

Pavement hawkers from the south are having a field day in Jaffna. They can open shops anywhere without any questions being asked by the authorities. They have done so in the vicinity of the Nallur temple. These hawkers further demolished the statue built by the Jaffna people in Nallur in memory of Thileepan who died in a fast-to-death during the IPKF days in 1987. If such a thing happened in the south we could have seen mayhem caused to poor Tamils.

Thank you for highlighting the omission by the government which still treats the Tamils as second class citizens. The signs are that the government will even ignore its own MPs elected in the north and go ahead with its agenda.

Concerned Jaffna citizen

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