Indian government assists disintegration of Tamil homeland
[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 July 2009, 11:09 GMT]
Government of India on Wednesday announced 66 million SL Rupees scheme to 'develop' communication between the eastern coastal cities, Trincomalee and Batticaloa, in such a way that the two traditional Tamil cities will be effectively linked to the Sinhala districts than with each other. While even the shortest coastal road link between the cities are neglected of development for decades now, the Indian plan is to help Colombo running rail-buses between the cities through the colonial cum Sinhala state railway track that goes in a circular way through the Sinhala districts outside of Eastern Province.
The Railway track between the cities of Batticaloa and Trincomalee, shown in red, runs through Sinhala districts
Full text of the press statement issued by the High Commission of India in Colombo follows:
29 July, 2009
The Eastern Province Railbus Project was today formally inaugurated in Batticaloa by the High Commissioner of India, Shri Alok Prasad, together with the Hon. Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister of Transport and the Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, Senior Advisor to the President. Also present on the occasion were the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Hon. Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, Ministers Ameer Ali and V. Muralitharan, the Mayor of Batticaloa, Hon. Sivageetha Prabhaharan and Eastern Province Minister MLAM Hizbullah.
The project aims to provide a quick and affordable avenue of transport between Batticaloa and Trincomalee by converting conventional buses to run on existing rail tracks. The Government of India has accordingly provided ten buses (at a cost of SLR 44 million) to Sri Lanka Railways and also made available an additional SLR 22 million to pay for the cost of conversion of these buses into 5 railbus units in the Sri Lanka Railways workshops in Ratmalana. The entire project, costing about SLR 66 million, is expected to be completed by the end of August 2009. It is hoped that, when the service is fully in place, passengers will not have to undergo delays in making the journey from Batticaloa to Trincomalee and back.
The project is a manifestation of Government of India’s commitment to the development of the Eastern Province and its desire to contribute to the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka in building up infrastructure in the Province, so as to assure an early return to normalcy and stability in the lives of the people.