Wide acclaim for President's
Several political party leaders and members of the clergy hailed
President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to Kilinochchi, not long ago the de
facto capital of the LTTE's so called Eelam state.
They said the visit was a historic one which reinforced the
Government's writ in the entirety of the North and one which raises
hopes among the Tamil civilians for a peaceful future.
Ven. Galagama Aththadassi Anunayaka Thera of the Malwatte Chapter,
Siam Nikaya and Viharadhipathi, Raja Maha Viharaya, Mahiyangana said the
President's visit, no doubt is a further boost to efforts at achieving
peace and harmony among all ethnic communities.
Ven. Galagama Aththadassi Anunayaka Thera
Ven Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera
Ven Elle Gunawansha Thera
"A Head of State visiting an area which was ravaged by conflict until
recently, to personally inspect the well-being of the troops and
displaced civilians is commendable.
That the visit occurred on traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year
adds significance." Sri Jayawardenepura University Chancellor Ven
Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thera said the visit by the President to
Kilinochchi is a moment of pride for the whole Nation. "The endeavour
culminates recent military achievements in defeating terrorism.
Thus, what we should do now is fall in line and strengthen the
President's hand in achieving the next step, which is to save the
trapped civilians in Mullaitivu and ensure their well- being with
Ven Elle Gunawansha Thera said he personally does not agree with the
President's visit, on the grounds of personal security issues. "I have
to agree that the history making visit was also a heroic achievement by
a Head of State in recent times.
The country is fortunate to have such a leader at this crucial
juncture in Sri Lanka's history." Balaravishankara Sivachariar Sami,
Hindu priest of the Sri Gnanabaihara Kovil said President Rajapaksa is
the only leader who has shown readiness to lend a sympathetic ear to the
plight of the Tamils.
Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa
"We are proud that the President made this historic trip to
Kilinochchi even ignoring the security threat to empathise with the
trials and tribulations of the people of the North".
He said President Rajapaksa will go down in history as the first Head
of State who visited Kilinochchi at risk to his life to pay tribute to
the soldiers as well as the Tamil people.
"There were attempts before this to resolve the conflict.
But these plans were discussed in Colombo away from the scene of the
conflict. These turned out to be mere political stunts. The President's
visit to Kilinochchi has given strength to the Tamil people."
"As a member of the Hindu clergy and as a Tamil, I am confident that
the President would do his utmost to improve the lot of the Tamil people
in their education and economic wise."
Jaffna District Parliamentarian and Social Services and Social
Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda said the President made this historic
visit at a very crucial juncture in the country's history.
"The first ever visit to the area by a Head of State is not only a
morale booster for the security forces, but also an encouraging factor
for trapped civilians in Mullaitivu, who are striving to escape Tiger
Also during the visit, the President was able to witness the
destruction caused to infrastructure in the area personally, which could
in future act as a catalyst in proposed development programs," he told
the Daily News. Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa said while
Velupillai Prabhakaran has painted himself as a coward while claiming to
be the liberator of the Tamil people President Mahinda Rajapaksa has
shown the true mettle and courage of a Head of State by visiting
Kilinochchi, an event which would written in letters of gold in the
country's history, the Governor said.
He said the President's historic visit to pay tribute to our heroic
soldiers who are fighting to protect the country's sovereignty and
territorial integrity and also to wish them a happy New Year is also
equal to the country as whole paying their gratitude to these valiant
Leader of the Bhoomi Puthra Party Dr. Harischandra Wijetunga said the
visit by President Rajapaksa who is a people's leader to Kilinochchi
could be termed as a brave act.
The visit also reinforces the position that Sri Lanka is a unitary
state under a single leader.
"At the time he was the Prime Minister, he was unable to go to Jaffna.
Today he visited Kilinochchi as the President of the country. This shows
that the country is under firm rule under one flag and one leadership."
He said the visit also is proof that the Government's writ prevails in
these areas and also the establishment of a civilian adminstration.
The Tamil people have been granted a freedom they have not enjoyed
for a long time. The President will be able to commence development work
for the benefit of the people in the North within a short period, he