Feature Article

China to build airport in Poonakari to balance India’s Palaali

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 February 2012, 01:27 GMT]
Occupying Sri Lanka plans to invite China to build an airport of international standard at Poonakari in the north of the country of Eezham Tamils to balance India’s projects centring around KKS harbour and Palaali airport in the northern coast of Jaffna Peninsula, news sources from the island said. Colombo has started confiscating large tracts of lands for this purpose and China has presented models of the airport for approval, revealed TNA parliamentarian Mr. Sritharan. Poonakari is situated in a controlling location linking Vanni with Jaffna Peninsula, with Palk Bay and Jaffna Lagoon on either side. It is also located close to Raameasvaram and Tho’ndi of the Tamil Nadu coast.

Poonakari, KKS & Palaali
[Satellite Image Courtesy: NASA, Visible Earth. Details & Legend: TamilNet]

Sometimes back, SL military officials in Jaffna were heard bragging about their ‘diplomacy’ of giving the construction of KKS harbour and Palaali airport to India and involving a Chinese government corporate to use the rest of the northern coast of Jaffna in the guise of installing solar panels and windmills.

A feature appeared in SL government-run Daily News in July 2010, cited Sri Lanka’s occupying military commander in Poonakari, Col. Susantha Gunasekara saying that “as per historical records all enemy incursions to Sri Lanka in the past had been done through Pooneryn and before the last victorious military exercise there had been 135 battles to capture and regain Pooneryn [Poonakari].”

The Daily News feature was also then referring to Sri Lanka’s plan to build the third international airport of the island at Ira’nai-madu in Ki’linochchi. The choice must have now fallen on Poonakari and China has been preferred for the task, considering the advantage of the location of Poonakari checking any ‘enemy incursions’ from Tamil Nadu/ India, political observers in Jaffna said.

Poo-nakari means the city of flowers. The suffix Nakari is a variation for Nakar in old Tamil. Identical to place names like Aazhvaar Thiru-nakari in Tamil Nadu on the opposite coast, and connected to Negeri in Malay, Poo-nakari is a name retaining an ancient linguistic strain. It became Pooneryn in the colonial records.

Meanwhile, constructing a tourist resort in the Nedun-theevu(Delft) island off Jaffna and close to Kachcha-theevu and Raameasvaram in the Palk Bay has been given to China, news sources in Jaffna said.


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