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Ranil pledges normalcy in Jaffna within five years

Sri Lankan Prime Minster, Ranil Wickremesinghe, says Jaffna will return to normalcy and become an economic hub within five years.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Jaffna International Airport yesterday, the Prime Minster said opening the airport was just the first step and several other steps are to follow. Once the runway is extended, “flights from the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand will be available to Jaffna.”

“There is no doubt that in the next five years Jaffna will return to its original status and become and economic centre,” he added.

His comments come more than 20 years after the Sri Lankan military launched its assault on Jaffna, which displaced over half a million Tamil men, women and children from their homes.

Read more on that assault here: 30 Oct 1995: Jaffna exodus as Tamils flee for Vanni ahead of SL military advance

The occupation of Jaffna continues to this day, with thousands of acres occupied by the Sri Lankan military. The intrusion of the military into civil life in the region has been cited by locals as contributing to issues such as unemployment, alcoholism and drug use.