SL government prioritizes tourism neglecting rehabilitation in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 October 2010, 08:15 GMT]
While the people of Jaffna peninsula having lost their lives, properties, livelihoods and being uprooted due to war suffer without any assistance, Sri Lanka government is bent on turning Jaffna peninsula into a tourist place for the Sinhala people in the South, Non Government Organizations (NGOs) in Jaffna pointed out, in the context of the opening ceremony of a new road to the newly built tourist complex in Casuarina Beach in Kaarainakar in Jaffna, by key politicians and officials of Sri Lanka government, Wednesday. The funds allocated for the rehabilitation of war-affected people in the peninsula have been diverted to construct pleasure projects to please the Sinhala Buddhist people from the South by the Governor of Northern Province, Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, they said. .
Money donated by foreign countries and institutions for the rehabilitation of the North is cleverly channeled into projects with ‘special purposes’ of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and SL government, the NGOs accused.
Following the opening of A9 land route to the North, thousands of Sinhala tourists and pilgrims pour into Jaffna peninsula daily.
The Governor, instead of constructing new buildings and renovating damaged structures with the funds allocated for the purpose of rehabilitating the destitute war affected people in the peninsula, is hastily engaged in constructing tourist resorts in places which are of interest to Sinhala Buddhist tourists and pilgrims, the sources said.
The lands of the Tamil people who had lived in them since ancient times are swiftly appropriated by SLA while the rightful owners uprooted from their places languish in temporary camps.
A lot of money has been spent in renovating the Buddhist shrines and sites in Nainaatheevu Naakatheepam, Maathakal Thiruvadinilai and Aariyaku’lam.
Besides, plans are afoot to build star hotels in Chaaddi and Kaaakkaitheevu on the coasts of Jaffna peninsula.
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) is given ample funds and authority in the name of developing tourism to consolidate itself firmly in all parts of the peninsula by Sri Lanka government and the war affected people are indirectly reduced to a cheap work force to be easily exploited by the Sinhala contractors and builders, the NGOs further said.