China, India, USA work to increase influence in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 June 2010, 14:17 GMT]
China, India and the United States of America are gradually strengthening their presence in Jaffna. India and China have openly sought to influence the 'post-war development’, which is unilaterally undertaken under the supervision of Basil Rajapaksa, the brother of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Tamil circles in Jaffna commenting on the corporate race by the powers said articulate sections of Tamils in Tamil Nadu and in the diaspora should come out with appropriate responses that the powers should respect the rights of the people of the land in deciding their own development.

Government owned and private corporates of India have recently secured ‘development’ contracts including reconstruction of railway lines, renovation of Kaangkeasanthu’rai (KKS) Cement factory, reconstruction of Palaali Airport, which is now the largest Sri Lankan military base in the north and the KKS Harbour, all falling within the militarised High Security Zone.

Meanwhile, southern Sinhalese labourers are engaged in excavating limestone inside the HSZ, which is threatening the entire groundwater salinity of the peninsula.

Palaali, KKS, SL military occupied HSZ
The Sri Lankan military occupied High Security Zone (HSZ) along the northern coast of Jaffna peninsula, that evicted a large number of Tamil civilians from their homes for two decades now [Satellite image courtesy: Google Earth]


During his recent visit to India, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa signed a number of agreements, including the ‘development’ exploitation of KKS Cement factory and the reconstruction of communication facilities attached to the High Security Zones that have been denied of access to the people who have been uprooted from their homes. Further, large tracts of agricultural land also come under the HSZ.

Achchuveali Industrial Estate, which had ceased to operate will also be revived by India.

China, which has already secured the contracts for constructing five principal roads in Jaffna peninsula has its surveyors working along with the surveyors of Sri Lanka Survey Department. A Chinese firm, Northern Power, is operating the Chu’n’naakam Power Station, generating electricity to Jaffna.

Meanwhile, USA is moving to open American Corner in Jaffna city, linking it to the American Center in Colombo.

Earlier, a similar move to launch a US center attached to Jaffna Public Library was given up as the then Jaffna Municipal Council administration had refused to provide accommodation due to alleged Indian influence.

India has now established a visa bureau in Jaffna, which will soon become a consulate.


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