Fruits of freedom for North soon
Launch oluvil port project a symbol of eastern
resurgence - President
President Mahinda Rajapaksa addresses the gathering
after ceremonially inaugurating work on the Oluvil port project in
Government will never backtrack on its journey to liberate innocent
civilians from terrorist clutches and restore peace in fear of
terrorists, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
"I will challenge Prabhakaran to clash with me
directly if possible without engaging in a killing spree targetting
innocent civilians, Parliamentarians and Ministers," he said yesterday.
The President was speaking after ceremonially
inaugurating work on the Oluvil port project in Ampara district.
President Rajapaksa said as much as the Government
liberated the people of the East from terrorism and enabled them to
enjoy the fruits of freedom, the people of the North would also be given
such an opportunity soon.
He emphasised that steps would be taken to set up a
popularly elected Provincial Council in the North as well soon.
The President who described the launching of the
Oluvil port project as a symbol of the Eastern resurgence, said this
project was a realisation of one of late Minister M. H. M. Ashraff's
"Late Minister Ashraff campaigned for the Oluvil port
project and got Cabinet approval for it during his time and today we are
honouring him by starting work on it," he said.
"From the very inception late Minister Ashraff
requested his people not to vote for the Elephant symbol.
"The best way for the people of East to pay tribute to
him is to abide by that request at the forthcoming election," President
"When this port is built and the area is developed,
the people had to safeguard this process to ensure their future
President Rajapaksa said the people of the East were
fully aware of the people bent on retarding the liberation and peace
they have achieved.
The trials and tribulations they underwent at the
hands of terrorists need no repetition as Minister Athaulla described
them in detail in his speech, the President said.
"The LTTE terrorists did not even allow people to
engage in their prayers peacefully. Hundred and sixty people were
massacred while they were praying in a mosque. Children in the area
could not do their schooling or enter Universities.
The innocent civilians were not allowed to use public
transport to attend to their daily work. What was the duty of a
responsible Government in this situation. We took the side of innocent
civilians and took necessary action to Liberate them from the terrorist
menace," he said.
Now the people of the East should decide whether they
should be governed by their own representatives or according to the
dictates originating from Killinochchi. Rauf Hakeem was party to the CFA
agreement reached with the LTTE which enabled it hold away over the
entire Eastern Province upto the Hambantota border, President Rajapaksa
Eastern citizens would decide on May 10 whether they wanted the
development process started in the region to continue or whether they
wanted to go back to the clutches of terrorists, he said. The Government
on its part would vouch that development work launched would be
continued without hindrance, he said. The President paid a special
compliment to Minister Ferial Ashraff whom he said was performing a
dedicated service to the people in honour of her late husband. Minister
Athaulla was also performing a dedicated service towards this people in
the Eastern province. They were Leaders who would stay among the people
and serve their cause without betraying them.
But certain others who became Parliamentarians
switching from one district to the other were now spreading rumours that
Muslims would be evicted from Hambantota. They even criticised the
Iranian President after he offered billions of rupees in aid for
development projects in the country, the President said.
President Rajapaksa said a UNP youth who crossed over
to the UPFA had given him a pamphlet issued by the UNP to deceive youth
and obtain their support to the UNP campaign. The pamphlet issued in the
name of a Southern MP had promised to initiate on the spot insurance
schemes for youth.
Courtesy - Daily News