Written by Staff Writer
05 Jul, 2019 | 9:31 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The proposed development activities for the Palaly Airport as an international airport, that will take place in three phases, was launched today under the auspices of Minister Arjuna Ranatunga. Deputy High Commissioner to India S. Balachandran attended the event.
Arjuna Ranatunga, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation noted that the prime minister piloted the project with the coordination and assistance of the Indian government. He added that the prime minister held discussions continuously to emphasize that the project should be completed by August. He added that the project will allow people to reach Katunayake International Airport in lesser time.
A total cost of approximately Rs. 2250mn has been estimated for the development of the Palaly Airport and the Indian government is expected to fund Rs 300mn.
Following the completion of the proposed development activities, the Palaly Airport will be able to handle aircraft within a total distance of 1,800 km2.
Meanwhile, Legislative Fellow of the US Senate, Damian Murphy and Policy Fellow of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Yelda Kazimi arrived in Myliddy, Jaffna and inspected the Myliddy fisheries harbour.
Two officials of the Tellipalai Divisional Secretariat held discussions with the party.
It was reported that the coastal area was fully damaged and the government and the NGOs are collectively attempting to develop the area. It was noted that Rs 400bn was allocated for the first phase of the development programme. The area was inhabited by Myliddy community and they supply 1/3 of the fish to the country. Mylidi people expect their living conditions to be improved with the establishment of the facilities in the region. It was also reported that the Myliddy community will return to their original residences upon restoration of the area.
Thereafter, the officials arrived at the Myliddy North Mulawei resettlement villages and spoke to its residents.
Yelda Kazimi, Policy Fellow of US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations noted that it was important to restore lives and establish order in the area.
However, it is unclear as to why two officials from the US Senate were travelling in Jaffna, inquiring issues faced by people.
When News 1st inquired regarding the matter, the Thellipalai Divisional Secretary, S. Siwashri noted that the US officials were permitted to inspect the geography of the area following the approval by the Jaffna Government Agent’s Office. It was reported that they inspected the area on several occasions.
Coincidentally, the 3 agreements linked with the United States of America, the SOFA, ACSA, and Millennium Challenge Corporation have been the topic of discussion across the country, in the recent past.
Critics claim that the US government aims to build an economic corridor connecting the Trincomalee Harbor with the Colombo port and to allow US forces to exchange supplies and services with US warships.
However, the president, ministers, and MPs representing the government as well as the opposition have pledged, that they will not sign any agreement that will threaten the security and sovereignty of Sri Lanka.
However, Mahinda Rajapaksa, leader of the opposition noted that he was reached by the members of the Bar Association who divulged the terms of the SOFA, and the land act which assists the SOFA. Mahinda Rajapaksa went on to note that the current situation in the country is not to be trifled with and that Sri Lanka is in a state where a government employee is on the payroll of the US.
The News 1st team would deliver this message on behalf of all the concerned citizens in the country.
When such pledges have been made by politicians across the board, the question remains as to who authorized US Senate Officials to visit Mylyddi, in the Northern Province?
What is their intention?
Where were these officials when Sri Lanka needed them the most, in the past?
Why the sudden interest in our affairs, especially matters related to land?
It must be remembered, that Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation. And while her politicians may be inclined to selling our nation’s freedom for political survival, the people of Sri Lanka will fiercely resist any such attempt.
Yes, we need the help and support of all nations. But NOT at the expense of our freedom and sovereignty.
Sadly, today, our leaders are unable to stand strong against foreign nations pursuing their interests at the expense of our own.
Political parties have divided themselves into various camps, some supportive of one camp while the other is supportive of another. This situation will only weaken our state allowing our peoples rights as citizens to be violated.
Our fervent request to our leaders is this: Please STOP selling our nation. Stop giving away our national assets and our land. Stop weakening our state. Stop giving into geopolitical pressure, and putting the future of our nation at risk.
If you cannot handle this situation, by protecting the interests of our nation, please, for the sake of our future generations, leave!
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