20 November, 2019

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A Botched Airport Opening Ceremony: Sri Lanka Cries

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Last Thursday (16.10.2019) was a great day for Sri Lanka. Jaffna international Airport was opened. It offered great opportunity for integrating Jaffna with the rest of Sri Lanka; for tourists from Tamil Nadu (having the largest number of tourists in India) to hop over to Jaffna and visit – besides Jaffna – Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Polannaruwa, Trinco, etc.; and for industrial collaboration with India and industrial powerhouse Tamil Nadu. It was an event I could not miss. Being from Jaffna, I felt elated that the old airport I had used long ago in the 1960s and late 1980s and 1990s would soon be an international airport. I felt grateful to all those who had made it happen.

However, instead of seeing the airport as of having national importance, the airport project fell victim to communal jealousy. The Airforce Commander failed to cooperate. When an Indian technical crew on 16 Sept. 2019 after a hard day’s work asked for tea, he retorted that the Indians were doing it for Tamils and demanded “Do you expect me to serve you tea?” The Indians, exhausted by 2 pm, sent a Jeep to Kankesanthurai to fetch refreshments.

The problem is that a project to advance the nation, national unity, and our economy, fell afoul of communal passions. It was a project that the Prime Minister had put together with the TNA. Now cast as a favour to Tamils, few Sinhalese, it seemed, wanted to claim ownership.

The President who had agreed to come for the opening, even after the invitation cards were printed, did not firmly commit to coming. The event was therefore planned with only the Prime Minister and his ministers coming, making it seem like a UNP affair. The President’s coming would have made the event more free since he has relinquished his party affiliations. With the Prime Minister being the highest ranking official in the midst of the presidential elections, the Election Commission then put in the normal restrictions.

The organization of the event was put in the hands of Colombo officials to not make it seem a Tamil affair. Many Sinhalese officials were invited and given the first few front row seats with name tags. Tamils were left out. School children were dragooned to occupy the back of the hall.

The heavy military presence showed that the President was coming. 

The ribbon cutting ceremony was in a separate area far away from the main crowd. Defence officials determined who was to be let into that area. GA Vathanayahan (the highest ranking government official in Jaffna), the Leader of the Provincial Assembly C.V.K. Sivagnanam, and I were directed by Tamil officials to this area. We were denied entry. Only MPs they said. So MP E. Saravanapavan was let it.  However, others too had been let in. Vethanayahan, quietly went away to the main tent. A Sinhalese official near the door went in and pleaded that Sivagnanam was the Leader of the House. He was again denied entry. So we both went to the main tent. A boy there found me a seat at the back. I saw Sivagnanam going here and there looking for a seat as he was told others were coming to where he tried to sit.

We were to be shown the ribbon cutting on a huge screen. I do not recall seeing it. We were to be shown the first flight from Madras landing. We were shown the plane only after it had landed and taxied to a stop.

Then boxes of food were served. I asked for a vegetarian box and was asked to separate the one vegetarian sandwich and eat it. I declined. Most Tamils who are vegetarian went with that one sandwich while the rest were seen gorging themselves. Thinnai, as the name of the famous restaurant was marked on the boxes, claims to be advertising authentic Jaffna culture! They should not have collaborated in this cruel joke particularly with school children drooling for food.

Then the biggies from Colombo entered our hall, the ribbon having been cut. They took the front row. I saw from the screen MPs Maavai Senathirajah and Sumanthiran. The Governor, PM and President, and Indian High Commissioner also were there.

The President not having indicated clearly that he would be present as he had first indicated in accepting the invitation and having his name printed on the card, seemed to have had tantrums. Finally, he came. This was a spanner in the works as no place had been put in the unofficial programme for him to speak. As a result, Sumanthiran was removed from the list of speakers to give the President a place.

Southern organizers seemed determined to make the airport opening ceremony a Sinhalese event to blunt propaganda in the south in election time. All the Sinhalese spoke in Sinhalese. No translation although providing a translation is now pretty standard in Colombo, as it also is when Jaffna officials organize an event in Jaffna. So it seemed to me a deliberate provocation and to send the message that the airport is not for Tamils as the Air Force chief claimed. The Governor spoke in all three languages making a pitch for continuing as Governor after the elections. The Indian high commissioner spoke in English. Senathirajah spoke in Tamil. As I recall, most of us were clueless about what was said by the others. For school children, except for the few Tamil speeches, it was all hocus pocus.  

It does not matter because those who spoke in Sinhalese had nothing to say to the Tamils present. For, when we speak, there are usually two reasons for speaking. Most often it is to convey a message. Obviously, there was no message to convey to the larger part of the audience. This seemed to be the operative mode because the Prime minister only once briefly switched to English – to thank the Indian High Commissioner HE Sandhu. That was the one time he wanted to switch to the first mode of communicating a message. The alternative possibility is micro-aggression (being aggressive just short of assaulting)  – to make Tamils feel this is not our country and that our rulers are not interested in communicating with us, and of course to lord it over us. This time it seems to have been for a Third reason – to convey to the South that “the airport is not for the Tamils so do not stop voting for us.” 

The worst was when, as soon as the Prime Minister finished his speech, the President, seemingly in a huff for having been forced into a ceremony that he did not favour, got up and walked off. All those from the first few rows walked behind him and left with him. It was too late for Sumanthiran to speak as the higher ranking PM had already spoken. They had suddenly discovered protocol hierarchy, which they had forgotten about in making seating arrangements.

What should have been a happy day for all of us, was badly botched by election gimmicks and playing to the communalist gallery. An event that was to unite us as a nation, had the opposite effect.

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Latest comments

  • 22
    69

    The war hero- Air force commander is not there to do tea-boy’s job. His job is to provide security and keep an eye on potential Eelam terrorists.
    /
    Remember, it’s Sinhalese who have to pay for this not so useful airport and racist Tamils refused play the national anthem. This air port is going to encourage more illegal Kallathoni immigration, drug and cannabis smuggling, etc.
    /
    The language issue would never have been a problem, had the Sinhala-only act been fully implemented. Let’s hope that the next president has the courage to make sure every Sri Lankan citizen speaks the only native language Sinhala before his term ends.

    • 35
      13

      John
      If that is the case, why are you writing in English you f**king bastard.
      You hypocritical SOB bearing a western name, you want to implement Sinhala only.
      Go and implement sinhala only for your children, you a-hole!
      You don’t represent Sinhalese. Don’t even think for a second you do. You pathetic scumbag who managed to join a few english words together. Your mentality says it all.
      Mudukkwa.

      • 9
        11

        Tamils been under prabhakaran the pig’s administration for sometime. They are brainwashed. Some of them dont know the history of the country. The government should take an oath from tamils to accept the reality and re issue ID cards. The people who are not willing to accept should be asked to go back to Tamilnadu.

        • 4
          4

          Tamil national pride is understandable, but there is a geopolitical push behind this so called international airport in Jaffna from India, US, Japan Aussi quad to balance China’s Hambantota port.

          Soon the Batticaloa International Airport to fly Saudi Wahabi jihadi’s to advance the US owned IS plan to set up IS Caliphate and US military bases in the Eastern Province and Trincopmalee port and turn Lanka into America’s unsinkable air craft carrier in the Indian Ocean, will be opened by US puppet Bondscam Ranil!

          More while elephants the better

          Long live Miracle of Modayas!

          • 1
            1

            This is a makeshift job, not fully completed, opening hurried up before election of the president., in case there be a change in government. This airport has been handed to India with clauses. There is a rumour that Subramaniam Swami was specially sent by India to ask Mahinda Rajapakse not to take up this matter in parliament or in public, for which he had agreed to. Tamils are asking why the runway is short where big planes from America, Europe and Australia cannot land for them to have direct flight into Jaffna. There lies the answer. Has any air force in the world has jumbo jets in their fleet. So there was only a necessity for an airstrip which will allow landing of fighter jets and transport planes. What was agreed is that only Indian planes and others permitted by India can land. Also when India requests for the airport, it has to be handed to their control and no SL agency will be allowed in. Despite being aware of this Mahinda Rajapakse obeyed the request made by Subramaniam Swami and has gone quiet. So much for your cardboard veerayas. This is an international agreement where no future president can abrogate unilaterally or SL supreme court have jurisdiction over it. That air force officer who refused to give tea to Indian workers will very soon be prostrating at their feet and eating humble kavun. It is sad that Sinhala racists who are refusing to share land with Tamils who are the legitimate owners, are willing to prostitute with China, India and USA.

            • 2
              0

              My friend, first of all let us Sinhalese, Tamils, Moors, Malays, Burghers, Veddahs etc all work TOGETHER as Ceylonese/Sri Lankans. We are all on the same team. OUR ENEMY (irrespective of ethnicity since we are one people) is our Indian bootlicking politicians and India who has ruined this country. The only good leaders we had were the likes of unifying DS Senanayake, the disciplinarian Sir John Kotewala, the statesman like Sir Oliver Goonetilike and William Goppawala, the gentlemanly Dudley and the honest hard working members of the Independence movement including the likes of the Ramanathans, the Captain Pieris, the Sir Ivor Jennings, the Jayahs etc. Sadly after independence, a prosperous future ahead of us, a country which Singapore/Lee Kuan Yew emulated (and succeeded in his own country), some weak minded, selfish Indian loving politicians came in and botched the entire thing.
              India ruins this country with the Indo Lanka Accord, tying our fate to Indian diktats and removing our right to trade, cooperate defensively and gain investment with whoever we damn well please (by electing our own government who then has a mandate to do things) and keeping us backward. No country on Earth would go to India, a nation without toilets and where people cling onto trains for dear life, to build vital infrastructure in their country, be it housing, trains, buses, let alone airports. Furthermore things like the 13th amendment only create utterly useless parasitic leeches to the nation called Provincial Councils, which not only attempt to divide our people on ethnic lines, but are full of gangsters, morons, thugs and Indian lovers who suck the Taxpayer dry whilst they plunder the nation. Some estimate it costs the country billions of US DOLLARS a year to maintain these parasitic vermin, money which could instead be used on building world class hospitals, schools, EVERY YEAR in this country.

        • 6
          1

          Udesh the Paradeshi

          “Tamils been under prabhakaran the pig’s administration for sometime”

          You got everything wrong.
          Prabaharan was not a pig but like Gota he was a psychopath, a serial killer, mass murderer. There isn’t much difference between Gota and him.

    • 5
      3

      Screw u. It’s not a Sinhala nation. It belongs to all who live there. If it was only Sinhalese living in that country you guys will be starving. If u think what Bandaranaike did was right, then why was he shot by a monk. Stupid fellas wake up. Even after 71 years of Independence u idiots cannot run a country.

      • 1
        3

        Bandaranauake broght in sinhala only language mostly because cassichetti’s fabricated story of elam.
        Somarama thero denied that he killed bandaranayake until his execution.

        • 1
          2

          Udesh the Paradeshi

          Don’t forget the ardent Sinhala/Buddhist JR was a Chetty whose ancestors (like your own) came from South India and converted to Sinhala/Buddhism.

          By the way what was the fabricated story of Eelam?

          • 2
            3

            The sinhala buddhist has their own language own letters etc. You must realize that we were originated here. It is understandable if your ancestors came to this country as slaves you would have that guidy feeling. It is unfortunate but you must realize that. We dont call you slaves or sakkiliyas is in it? So you must learn to respect thar.

            • 4
              0

              Udesh Paradeshi

              Little people have little or no idea about history.
              You are worse than them.
              You either an ignorant dumbass or brainwashed Pavlov’s conditioned dog.
              Either way you are a liability to this island.
              Sooner you left better for the rest of the people.
              Start packing.

              “The sinhala buddhist has their own language own letters etc. “

              So are most people of this world.
              What is special about Sinhala/Buddhists?

              • 1
                2

                Just pack and get out slave. We have no work for you here.

      • 1
        0

        Well well well. Dream on, there will never ever be a muslim majority, a caliphate and all that fanatical shit happening in our blessed Land of Sinhale. The generous, welcoming nature of the Sinhala people have been abused lock stock and barrell for hundreds of years. Tolerance has its limits, and when the the Sinhayas rise up, the traitors will have nowhere to hide. Remember Piripaharan and his clan.. how it all ended.. not by grace of any god but by sheer determination of the Hela people. So 2 choices.. accept that this is the HELADIVA, not Morocco, Malaya or or some godforsaken Wahabi Land or else FEEL FREE to return to the la la that you ungrateful losers came from. Adios!

        • 1
          0

          Sinhalaya

          By any chance you are a direct descendant of philandering Ibn Battuta, the traveller, trader, serial bigamist, serial adulterer, …………………who claimed to have scaled his holy place Adam Peak with the support of the Tamil King Arya Chakrawarti of Puttalam and later visited a Hindu temple complex in Galle (Dondra Head – Tevanthurai) was and is known as Tenavaram temple.

      • 0
        0

        Exactly, even after 71 years sinhala idiots cant run a country. Allowing poligamy for Muslims, seperate universities for Muslims, handing over eastern province to Muslims, Muslim shariah law….and finally dead because of Muslims..I am 100% percent with you.

      • 0
        0

        Are you fucking kidding me? We will be starving without stupid dumbass people like you? Then how did we survive for last 2500 years? Never heard that tamils or muslims feed us. The truth is you will be starving without us dumbass. Grow up arrogant idiot

    • 3
      1

      Dr. Hoole,

      Brilliant Op Ed. Thank you. Hardline Sinhalese sentiment will backfire on them.

    • 0
      0

      Get a life you moron

  • 32
    1

    Are not English, Sinhalese and Tamil equally “Official Languages” in the constitution?
    If so, all speeches should have been translated into the other two languages.

    • 17
      3

      In Singapore, the speeches are often either made only in the working language (English) and sometimes also in Chinese, with translations yes provided in the remaining of the four official languages (Chinese, Malay, Tamil and English). ALL SIGNS are made in a uniform font and order of languages. You don’t get different signs up and down the country.

      These idiot politicians in our country on the other hand have different signs – in Colombo, the airport signs are in the order, Sinhala, Tamil and then English. Yet in Jaffna, it’s Tamil, Sinhala and then English. That is completely ridiculous.

      Furthermore, the speeches should have been given with a translation in the remaining two languages yes. There should not have been only Tamil by one speaker, only Sinhala by another and no English (except for the diplomat in this case who spoke in English). The entire country needs to be cleaned up of useless idiot politicians. All 225+1 should be sent packing.

      It is also wrong to call any one area of the country a Sinhalese area or Tamil area. The whole country should be regarded as Ceylon/Sri Lanka and not a collection of ethnic ghettos. Official languages should be equal nationwide. There have been clear cases of no English in Colombo signs, or no Sinhala and English at the Jaffna University which is shameful.

      One good thing would be to teach EVERY school child English so they can understand foreign news. Then every child, whether Sinhalese, Tamil, Moor, Malay or Burgher will surround the politicians and berate them for their total incompetence at ruining this country by making it an Indian hellhole instead of like Singapore.

      • 2
        2

        Well Said Stanley……agree word by word all you have summarised above.

        Thank you Mr Hoole for the event update but do not agree with the communal jealously part that set out in your argument/interpretation of all other Identity politics of Sri Lankan citizens with regard to this Airport.

        With regard to tourism and the Industrial power TN is not the experience of others nor will this retain the SL identity. We are moving from one blunder to the other and it is our ‘Children’ who were trained in TN ‘who had made this possible by sacrificing their life and in the process taken so many other fellow citizens life with them please note.

        It is an issue of sovereignty being lost and we just celebrated this as some kind of victory..even in a symbolic airport building..for whom exactly…….re-colonialism in the making for all the wrong reasons that we can not even see this day light robbery that falls under ‘Normalising the Unthinkable” catogory after all the misery and loss we the SL people have just been through for the past 40 years.

        • 3
          0

          Thiagarajah, well said and thank you!
          That is the saddest thing. We are a nation that has the potential of Singapore and perhaps even greater. That country emulated us, or at least the Ceylon of old where we had honest leaders and a hard working people who schooled and played together, and look at what they achieved. It beggars belief as to the sheer excitement of any of our modern day airports which are nothing short of appalling. We don’t even have one decent airport in this country, and sadly our political overlords are not even capable of comprehending building a Changi style airport which is perfectly possible (money is wasted on various “jobs for the boys” and unnecessary things up and down the country). This supposedly new airport in Jaffna/Palaly looks like the aftermath of a natural disaster. We citizens, the people of Ceylon/Sri Lanka deserve better and can do better. It is perfectly possible within no more than 10 years to turn this third world backwater with potential into a first world powerhouse like Singapore or South Korea with first world living conditions, transportation (electric trains and buses) for ALL citizens and all of our children and their children in the same school, growing up together and experiencing a relaxing life with first world problems like what movie to watch tonight. I doubt that our independence was achieved in 1948 just to hand us over to India.
          The sad thing is that after the struggle of our honest and far thinking Independence movement who had a worldly view, we have let incompetent buffoons and self proclaimed leaders take us on a path to nowhere and turn this bastion of excellence into a total KAKISTOCRACY.
          And they have Indianised this country to the hilt.

      • 2
        2

        Stanley,
        .
        There’s a Name Board here.

        .
        https://www.onlanka.com/news/president-declares-open-jaffna-international-airport.html
        .
        Looks O.K. Let the Tamils, tell themselves that Tamil is right on top.
        .
        For the Sinhalese, the Central Position may seem the most important, and slightly larger lettering.
        .
        The English Lettering appears to be the largest of all.
        .
        If only people could look for positives!

        • 4
          0

          Sinhala_Man,

          The point I made above was the total lack of the rule of law, efficiency and order in the country, from the ad hoc planning, to terrible plans to pathetic execution. Regarding the sign boards, the point is that all public sign boards should be in the SAME uniform order up and down the country.

          As I said above, in Singapore, with 4 official languages on many signs, the signs are always in the same standard ORDER. You don’t go to the West of Singapore and find one order, and then go to the North, or East and find signs in a different random order.

          Any signs in our case, if they are displaying public information in 3 official languages (in this case Sinhala, Tamil and English) should be written in the same order.

          Such a thing is common practice at airports, motorways and maps and represents public order. Imagine if road signs were always in random orders the chaos that would cause to drivers trying to read directions at speed on an expressway.

          Whether the order is Sinhala, Tamil and then English, or Tamil, Sinhala and then English, or English, Sinhala and then Tamil, or English, Tamil and then Sinhala is immaterial. The point is that ALL signage across the country should be the SAME.

          If the Colombo airport has a different order to the Galle railway station to the Jaffna airport to the Hambantota port, this would just be ridiculous. There is then the separate issue of places like the Jaffna University sometimes not having any Sinhala, or English direction boards which beggars belief. There seems to be no rule of law in the country. We need a total System Change since we appear to be a nation of 22 million honest citizens led by utter morons.

          • 5
            1

            Dear Stanley,
            .
            Yours is certainly a more rational view than my off-the-cuff comment. Admittedly, since these are official signs there has to be uniformity. My sort of woolly comment could create problems in the long term.
            .
            What I chafe at is always having to be careful and balanced in my views. I’ve been told that Singapore’s “standard everything” can be rather boring.
            .
            I was only trying to say that the supporters of each language could take satisfaction in those various ways. However, looking at the article over-all, one is struck by “the authorities” unnecessarily hurting people.

            • 2
              0

              Dear Sinhala_Man,
              Not to worry. Glad you’re a rational chap then. Yes I hope you see, my point is you need THE RULE OF LAW and standards. I mean if people think Singapore is “boring” they need to visit it. If that’s how someone would describe Singapore with its world class infrastructure (the Indian trains and buses and other rubbish aren’t seen there), laws, equality, equal opportunities, lean governance, low taxes, quality of life etc is boring, then hopefully Ceylon can become as boring as possible to escape the endless mediocrity of the Indian way of life.
              It is about the rule of law, and yes plain common sense. Though sadly in most nations (except perhaps Singapore), government policy is rarely about common sense. But most nations have some semblance of order and uniformity in simple things like public sign boards, road signs, airport signs etc. Imagine if the train station signs, motorway signs or in this case were constantly in random orders in different parts of the country or segments of a motorway.
              If we have official languages, there should be a standardised order on signs. And as for Singapore, I would suggest you visit it (if you do, you will come back here and want to hang politicians here for their combined incompetence). Though it might be small, and might not have the abundance of variety we have in terms of locales (which shows how much better we could be doing), it is a fine, civilised and clean country modelled on the Ceylon of old (before the nutcases took over our country in the late 50s and we’ve had Indianised politics) where you can eat, drink, walk, shop, experience history, experience theme parks, experience nature, experience swimming pools, views etc to your heart’s content.

  • 20
    7

    Professor S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole presents here a blow by blow account of the ‘Opening’ of the Jaffna International Airport.
    What the Air Force Commander did what he did in the ‘Tea incident’ may appear to be uncouthly uncivilized, he will be noted for reward by MR/GR if they are able to.

    • 5
      2

      What blow..?? Yes your professors’ lie is a blow to peaceful progression of innocent unsuspecting communities. It is sad to see that this so called professor blaming others and but he is using his position to promote communalism. In the first place both Civil Aviation Minister and Prime Minister in their speeches specially thanked the Air Force for the support given to make the airport a reality and said that the opening ceremony would not have taken place if not for that support. This professor after being at the airport only at the opening day do not know how all the agencies including government, provicial, contractors and workers from both North and South were helped by the Air Force since its constructions commenced in early July. And the Air Force hierarchy (Air Force commander was not there though this professor says so) was already sitting with other invitees when Indian officials arrived late and these two parties did not meet each others or no body could reach to Air Force hierarchy at that time as they were in the front rows of the meeting. So there was no ‘tea story’ took place as this professor says. Feel sorry for your professors’ lack of knowledge..
      To your professors’ knowledge again… The opening ceremony was held on 17th Oct and there was no Indian technical crew on 16th.. Even when they were in the airport, what hard days work for them? They did not arrive here for hard labor, they arrived by air at the time of opening, spent couple of hours, attended the opening ceremony, had lunch and returned by air, and our airport officials looked after them during the stay…

  • 9
    29

    This is absard. This is a sinhala budhist country. Why all these nonsence

    • 4
      1

      Son it will be Chinese territory very soon and wake up son !

    • 3
      2

      Udesh

      “This is a sinhala budhist country”

      What does it really mean?

      Did Buddha say this island is Buddhist Country?
      Don’t be silly. Whom are you trying to kid?
      Are you on the other hand planning to defraud the country while hiding behind Sinhala/Buddhism?
      There are 21 Million things to worry about.
      Go help the injured soldiers.

      • 2
        0

        Native
        Udesh hears voices in his head saying that the Buddha said in Sinhalese that this country is Buddhist.
        So don’t argue with him.

        • 1
          1

          Uthungan

          I am sorry I didn’t know he has a habit of hearing voices in his head.
          The voices could order him to do many things.

  • 35
    0

    Whilst I understand the feelings of the writer I would like to remind you all that this is not a Sinhalese Airport neither is it a Tamil Airport. It is a Sri Lankan Airport in a place called Jaffna. Lets stop being foolish by giving buildings and infrastructure ethnicity.

    The authorities should have handled this matter with much greater sensitivity. .

  • 12
    9

    The point is all Sri Lankans (Sinhalese, Tamil, Moor, Malay, Burgher etc) all share a common enemy – the Sri Lankan politicians who lick the boots of India. With their combined incompetence they could be given a fully developed Singapore and destroy that country within 2 weeks, let alone develop Ceylon/Sri Lanka. This airport in Jaffna looks SHODDY and frankly is appalling. Just like Mattala and Katunayake, these idiot politicians have built a rubbish airport which isn’t even complete with a proper terminal building or runway. This is an insult to the people of Sri Lanka and it is stupid to expect airlines to magically land here. An airport needs:
    1. CAPACITY (think Changi, or Hong Kong, or for a secondary airport look at Stansted or Edinburgh in the UK)
    2. EFFICIENCY (think Changi, Hong Kong, or Kansai, or Zurich)
    3. QUALITY (think Changi)
    Katunayake, Mattala or Jaffna have NONE of these qualities. To praise the Indians, who caused this country’s suffering is ridiculous. No country on Earth would have gone to India to build an airport, train lines etc. The Air Force commander was quite right not to waste his time getting tea. That is up to whoever the contractor was. Should have held an open worldwide tender to build a proper airport. Frankly it would be better to build an airport in Trincomalee.
    No one should praise this airport. Look at the size of the people in the photo. Only the Indian airlines staff were lean. The Sri Lankan politicians looked like fat hippos waddling everywhere. This is yet again another disgraceful project built by inept morons and incompetent policymakers. This country doesn’t even have ONE proper airport. All citizens irrespective of ethnicity, or profession or where they live (North, South, East or West) should boot out all these useless Indian bootlicking politicians.

    • 2
      0

      Dear Stanley

      Thank you for all your loving input to our Nation building issues. The fact in this Stone Age people can even make a mockery of the sign posts is an insult to all the Mother Lankan Children died in this miserable event. Perpetrators have not been taken to task yet…….foreign state sponsored terrorism should mean something in this Stone Age.

      Even to look at Malaysia how beautifully she is making large and small airports with amazing consistencies in ‘style and facilities’ (theme) throughout all her developing landscape. Designed with a character reflecting the Nation culture with all her children throughout the world having an input to ensure the futuristic nature…where these facilities will have all the project evaluation done, future expansion and best of technologies incorporated too.

      The fact Diaspora had no input/no money to develop and motivate our local children to be enrolled in the project so they learn all the new construction techniques for their personal development and future National development projects too specially when we skill shortages am not sure………….I have not seen the construction activity……..did anyone make a Video of the various construction phases and share this with all of us please.

      • 3
        0

        Thiagarajah, no problem. It is heartening at least to see there are people even here on these humble comment sections, whether we be Sinhalese, Tamil, Moor, Malay, Burgher, Veddah, etc, who are genuinely patriotic, caring, and right minded people!
        Yes I concur on still after innocent people, including children, in April were killed, that those responsible for this tragedy have not been held to account. All 225+1 politicians are some of the most vile, shameless and loathsome human beings to walk the face of the Earth. They even give some of the corrupt Indians a run for their money on how to ruin a nation and keep it backward. I pray that sanity will prevail sooner rather than later so that the Augean stables can be cleared and the children of this country enjoy a bright future in a new Ceylon/Sri Lanka which is a lean, efficient meritocracy – a bastion of freedom, civility, technology and brilliance in the world, instead of the sad tear drop nation we have become.
        As for Malaysia, yes even they make airports which are traditional and also modern. I have seen the same in Thailand, where for instance they blend their Royal traditional styles and Buddhist architecture with modernity to make a national airport. And of course there’s Changi in Singapore which reflects the Singaporean style and probably the best example of efficiency, wow factor and technology in the world. If you walk through Terminal 4 for instance (any of their Terminals are a joy to walk through you almost don’t want to board your flight) you can experience cultural things as well as the modern creature comforts. If you go to places like South Korea, you can experience the wonders of their culture, and yet walk through places that look like you are in a science fiction movie.

  • 3
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  • 9
    1

    Before criticizing the construction of the Jaffna International Airport, it is vital whether the people of Jaffna are prepared to work with dedication. When I was in Jaffna last year I found the Jaffna unemployed youths were reluctant to work and were relying on monies remitted from foreign countries from their relatives though there jobs. I also found that the Sinhalese people were willing to work and do a complete job. One will have to analyze the transformation of the circumstances that led to the construction of the Jaffna International Airport. Since Sri Lanka was leaning towards Pakistan and China, there was a necessity to protect the Southern India and the construction of the Jaffna International Airport serves as a strategic base to Southern India when two-thirds area of India are coastal side. India has a Five Year Plan and has also a devised plan of the concept of Akhanda Bharath – an undivided India which includes Nepal, Afghanistan, Maldives, Myanmar and present Bangladesh. The Akhanda Bharath appears not to be a reality, but after the formation of Bangladesh, the formation of SAARC, the signing of Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord,, the nuclear plant near Trincomalee, etc are signals pointing to the reality of Akhanda Bharath. The Jaffna International Airport symbolizes as a part and parcel of Akhanda Bharath – a strategy of India. Earlier Kachchativu was handed over to Sri Lanka, but now with the development of competition between India and China, India has begun to hold firmly a section of Sri Lanka after the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord. The formation of Bangladesh, SAARC, the signing of Indo-Sri Lanka, the nuclear plant near Trincomalee, etc are signals pointing to the formation of Akhanda Bharath. As such, why should some politicians raise the issue of not giving priority to Sinhala in name boards.

    • 5
      0

      The point is all Sri Lankans (Sinhalese, Tamil, Moor, Malay, Burgher etc) all share a common enemy – the Sri Lankan politicians who lick the boots of India. With their combined incompetence they could be given a fully developed Singapore and destroy that country within 2 weeks, let alone develop Ceylon/Sri Lanka. This airport in Jaffna looks SHODDY and frankly is appalling. Just like Mattala and Katunayake, these idiot politicians have built a rubbish airport which isn’t even complete with a proper terminal building or runway. This is an insult to the people of Sri Lanka and it is stupid to expect airlines to magically land here. An airport needs:
      1. CAPACITY (think Changi, or Hong Kong, or for a secondary airport look at Stansted or Edinburgh in the UK)
      2. EFFICIENCY (think Changi, Hong Kong, or Kansai, or Zurich)
      3. QUALITY (think Changi)
      Katunayake, Mattala or Jaffna have NONE of these qualities. To praise the Indians, who caused this country’s suffering is ridiculous. No country on Earth would have gone to India to build an airport, train lines etc. The Air Force commander was quite right not to waste his time getting tea. That is up to whoever the contractor was. Should have held an open worldwide tender to build a proper airport. Frankly it would be better to build an airport in Trincomalee.
      No one should praise this airport. Look at the size of the people in the photo. Only the Indian airlines staff were lean. The Sri Lankan politicians looked like fat hippos waddling everywhere. This is yet again another disgraceful project built by inept morons and incompetent policymakers. This country doesn’t even have ONE proper airport. All citizens irrespective of ethnicity, or profession or where they live (North, South, East or West) should boot out all these useless Indian bootlicking politicians.

  • 8
    17

    I am prepared to pay for a Jaffna – Chennai one way ticket to
    Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole.

    Soma

    • 6
      0

      And I am happy to pay for a Hambantota – Kolkatta or Hambantota – Bubaneshwar one way ticket for you. Which one would you prefer?

      I will not read your very long thank-you, so don’t bother typing it :)

  • 7
    1

    By all accounts this ill timed opening had been quite a disaster . Those responsible for this very poorly organised , farcical event should be taken to task . With regard to the comment allegedly made by the commander of the air force – anyone who has dealt with Indians will know that they think they are God’s gift to Sri Lanka , and I find his response quite appropriate .

    • 5
      0

      I wholeheartedly concur. Whatever our ethnicity, whatever our job, whatever our affluence, whether we are Sinhalese, Tamils, Moors, Malays, Burghers, Veddahs etc, all of use Ceylonse/Sri Lankans can agree that Indians think they are God’s gift not only to Sri Lanka, but to mankind. So the Commander’s response to their alleged request for tea, which was probably them barking orders at a Sri Lankan, was quite appropriate. In the days of Sir John Kotewala, the Prime Minister of Ceylon in the 1950s, he probably would have given the buggers a thundering slap as well. I wish we had patriotic leaders and planners like in that era. In those days, the Foreign Minister of Ceylon was a Tamil and vehemently anti Indian seeing them as nothing but a meddling wanna be empire.

  • 2
    1

    The John moron got a bellyful. Bloody half baked racists who must be hiding somewhere and then talking of Sinhala Only. Mister first change your name to Yuanis Appuhamy and wear an amudey instead of a western underwear, mount a buffalo and go and plough at palali airport. What a racist low life. Fc,,,shame.

  • 3
    1

    Soma, there are thousands begging for a bath parcel all around Colombo and kandy and why not feed them instead of buying air ticket to prof Hoole. Your guys have plundered the country and the exclusive ancient natives are going hungry. And you are worried about airticket. Imagine the state of mind.

    • 2
      1

      Nathan
      It is a long term investment.

      Soma

  • 2
    1

    A.R.
    It is a geopolitics of India and China behind Sri Lankan development.
    India will never support Tamil Eelam at all..but India want to keep this areas under direct control of Indian domination.
    can you expect China build this airport ?
    Sri Lanka knows how to play with this geopolitics…
    until there is a war between India and China we will be playing around with China and India..
    benefiting from them .
    Sri Lanka army officer did not give tea for Indian workers at the airport site because he might have smelled the Indian domination in his land

    • 2
      3

      Lankan,
      Originally this Airport could have been constructed earlier after the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord during the period of Lalith Athulathmudali & Gamini Dissanayake. There were lack of support from the Tamil politicians. Now India has taken control of it. But we are fighting over petty issues like priority on languages in sign boards. There is some good news that Sri Lankan Minister Arjuna Ranatunge was in Canada and placed an order for six planes from Bombardier for the benefit of Sri Lankans. But if the politicians like Wimal Weerawansa & Rajapaksas disputes on sign boards and India puts the sign boards in Hindi., every politician will be going to Thiruppathy and pray ‘O GOVINDA’. What is wrong in providing Tea to the Indians by the Sri Lankan Security Forces. Then what will happen if Kachchativu also fall in the hands of India when Jaffna International Airport becomes an integral part of India.taking into consideration that it serves six cities in India..

  • 1
    0

    Dont worry all this will change when Gotha takes over and Chinese start to come in and Indian Miitary is ferried in

    • 1
      0

      Kali spot on………..we have become the playing field for others………we should redirect the Indians and the Chinese to look to their few thousand mile boarders as a war front not our homes??

      The Tamil Nadu government can supply Indian Tamil children trained in the same camps where our children were trained to fight in the Indian army hopefully the same trainers are still around.

  • 6
    0

    As one of the commentators pointed out airports in Sri Lanka are of third world standard. From all the reports it seems the Jaffna Airport will be a much worse one. It can only handle very small planes. It can only handle low level plane traffic. The buildings supporting the airport runway are even below third world standard. There is nothing much to brag about this airport. It was converted to a civilian airport with a very small budget.
    It is my belief that the politicians who worked hard to make this happen had honest good intentions. Therefore we must thank them even though there was an attempt to insult the Tamil people at the opening ceremony.
    What is really saddening and frightening is what the airforce commander said to the Indian technicians. Part of Professor Hoole’s Article is repeated here.
    “However, instead of seeing the airport as of having national importance, the airport project fell victim to communal jealousy. The Airforce Commander failed to cooperate. When an Indian technical crew on 16 Sept. 2019 after a hard day’s work asked for tea, he retorted that the Indians were doing it for Tamils and demanded “Do you expect me to serve you tea?” The Indians, exhausted by 2 pm, sent a Jeep to Kankesanthurai to fetch refreshments.” Are the Tamils not Sri Lankan citizens.
    Will our top leaders in Colombo look into this

    • 4
      0

      Indeed. Looking at the pictures, this so called Airport which is meant to be brand new looks like the scene just after a natural disaster. Sri Lanka/Ceylon lacks even ONE first world airport because it has atrocious Indian style politicians. With all the money wasted on the most pointless things, we could build a proper airport like Changi in either Colombo, or Trincomalee, or even Jaffna as well as the requisite roads, or electrified rail connections from it to major population centres of the country. Hell you could probably build two airports the size of Changi. The problem we have is a Corrupt system and inept morons in charge of planning and execution of national policies. The buildings at this Jaffna airport are portacabins – these are not terminal buildings. In any other country, that is what the construction workers use DURING construction.
      We should all, irrespective of whether we are Sinhalese, Tamil, Moor, Malay, Burgher, Veddah etc , think of ourselves as Ceylonese/Sri Lankans, and all condemn this atrocious airport along with our other two. We also shouldn’t be forced to ride in Indian trains which are awful. Easily the country could spend the money wasted on useless councils and “jobs for the boys” and the 225+1 on buying some first world trains from Japan. Our politicians see it fit to treat themselves to luxury Western cars funded by the tax payer yet force people to live like Indians.
      Regarding what the Air force commander allegedly said, I think any Sri Lankan (irrespective of ethnicity) knows full well that many Indians think they are god’s gift to mankind. So their request for tea was probably some derogatory barking of orders at a Sri Lankan to fetch his Indian master some tea. Look at the sheer lack of quality of anything the Indians have built here.

    • 1
      0

      And how did this Hoole know what the air force commander said? Was Hoole eavesdropping the commander?

  • 2
    1

    somass

    “I am prepared to pay for a Jaffna – Chennai one way ticket to
    Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole.”

    I am also ready to pay for Jaffna – Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, …………….. one way ticket to you, KASmaalam, Eagle Blind Eye, Gota, …………

    Are you going to wait for repatriation package?

  • 6
    1

    It is sad to see that this so called professor blaming others and but he is using his position to promote communalism. In the first place both Civil Aviation Minister and Prime Minister in their speeches specially thanked the Air Force for the support given to make the airport a reality and said that the opening ceremony would not have taken place if not for that support. This professor after being at the airport only at the opening day do not know how all the agencies including government, provicial, contractors and workers from both North and South were helped by the Air Force since its constructions commenced in early July. And the Air Force hierarchy (Air Force commander was not there though this professor says so) was already sitting with other invitees when Indian officials arrived late and these two parties did not meet each others or no body could reach to Air Force hierarchy at that time as they were in the front rows of the meeting. So there was no ‘tea story’ took place as this professor says. Feel sorry for professors’ lack of knowledge..

  • 5
    1

    To professors’ knowledge again… The opening ceremony was held on 17th Oct and there was no Indian technical crew on 16th.. Even when they were in the airport, what hard days work for them? They did not arrive here for hard labor, they arrived by air at the time of opening, spent couple of hours, attended the opening ceremony, had lunch and returned by air, and our airport officials looked after them during the stay…

    • 2
      2

      Dinjay59

      “Even when they were in the airport, what hard days work for them?”

      It appears that you never understood two words, namely “Hard” and “Work” leave alone HARD WORK as you seem rarely work.

      • 2
        1

        Idiots and fools look at the finger when pointing at the moon. Work or no work is my choice.. you can get lost.. Period!!

  • 5
    1

    Feel sorry for professor, when he fabricated and constructed this paragraph.. “However, instead of seeing the airport as of having national importance, the airport project fell victim to communal jealousy. The Airforce Commander failed to cooperate. When an Indian technical crew on 16 Sept. 2019 after a hard day’s work asked for tea, he retorted that the Indians were doing it for Tamils and demanded “Do you expect me to serve you tea?” The Indians, exhausted by 2 pm, sent a Jeep to Kankesanthurai to fetch refreshments”. May be the professor did this to suit his narrative and to mislead the reader, but I say that he “fell victim to communal jealousy”.

    • 5
      0

      Dinjay59

      They show their mean low grade 3rd class mentality. He even says this is a Tamil event. Shame.

      • 1
        1

        latha

        “They show their mean low grade 3rd class mentality. “

        Are you referring to Sinhala/Buddhist fascists?
        Where does he say this was a Tamil event?

        You should be visiting your optician on a regular basis.

    • 7
      1

      Thank you Dinjay59,
      .
      Truth, eventually, but with certainty, will surface — even despite partiality of censors!
      .
      In my view, every artful contributions by the author has been intently divisive – terribly shortsighted and very unbecoming of an educated.
      .
      I am O.K. if CT finds my comment un-publishable, once again!

      • 1
        2

        Kumar R

        What are you suggesting?
        Do you want to change the order in which the Airport’s title is being written?

        You should encourage Gnanasara, Ambitiya, Wijedasa Rajapaksa, Wimal, …. deal with the name.

  • 1
    0

    After reading the comments one could realize that racism/communalism is alive and well one party wants to give a ticket to Tamil Nadu check the GDP of Tamil Nadu it is the second highest GDP in India
    It is a Power house definitely it is better than Sri Lanka
    Please note this country belongs to the vedas they own this country ( They have the highest infant mortality rate in Asia )
    The Sinhalese patriot who wish to send the Tamils to Tamil Nadu please check your
    genetic code it cost $ 100 it will show your ancestors came from South India may be Tamil Nadu
    That would be a reality check it will shock many that they speak Sinhalese but genetically they are Dravidians
    We had a president JR who did not tell the Sinhalese that Tamil is a Classical language and one of the oldest languages but went on insulting the language

    • 0
      0

      Peri Nathen

      “Please note this country belongs to Veddas. They own the country.”
      Yes Peri Nathen has told that. So hear after Sri Lanka will belongs to Veddas. Thanks to this PN America will belongs Red Indians & Australia to Aboriginals.

      “We had a President JR who did not tell the Sinhalese that Tamil is a classical language and one of the oldest languages but went on insulting the language”

      What difference if Tamil is oldest or not or classical or not to other people. Your language lacks some essential letters in the alphabet so you pronounce words in most picular way. Our house maid pronounce her name as Gandi we think it can be Kanthi. Sinhala meaning for Kanthi is glitter but I don’t Know if there a Tamil meaning for Gandi. It is said some children in Tamil Nadu prefer to learn in English because of this inadequacy in their language. What is to be proud of being oldest if that language is crude, not refined & unpleasant. Everybody in this world used an using languages, they did not used sign language while Tamils talking in classical Tamil.

      JR did not insult an anther language. But we here Tamils always insult Sinhalese language. Because of their stupidity they do this.

      • 0
        0

        Latha Please take a deep breadth are you a linguistic ? do you know Tamil ?
        the difference between you and Indian prime minister reciting the 3000 year old Tamil verse in the UN ( In Tamil ) You can watch it in U tube யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர் (To us all towns are our own, everyone our kin,) is greatness
        That you can only reach by respecting others and their culture I will not respond to your comments I can only suggest that you check your genetic code you will be surprised

    • 0
      0

      Who told you that Tamil is a classical language? No one has ever declared Tamil as a classical language. It is only a ploy of the Indian government to control linguistic freaks. Go and check.
      I am very happy for development of TN. May be the Indian Tamils who sneaked into SL before might think of going back

  • 1
    0

    ‘Southern organizers seemed determined to make the airport opening ceremony a Sinhalese event to blunt propaganda in the south in election time’.
    The way things are going, it appears that since the Jaffna International Airport serves about six places in India encouraging the Indians to tour Jaffna, and also stands as a shield to South India, it is an integral part of India. As such will there be a sign board in Hindi and if so what will be the reaction of the Rajapaksas, Wimal Weerawansa and the Buddhist monks. As far as I am concerned even Kachchativu is likely to slip away from Sri Lanka. When the Indian Air Force dropped four parcels in Jaffna, the Sri Lankan Forces remained dumb. At least now why can’t the Southern organizers cast all their petty minded issues and make the ceremony as a Sri Lankan event.

  • 3
    1

    “The Airforce Commander failed to cooperate. When an Indian technical crew on 16 Sept. 2019 after a hard day’s work asked for tea, he retorted that the Indians were doing it for Tamils and demanded: “Do you expect me to serve you tea?” The Indians, exhausted by 2 pm, sent a Jeep to Kankesanthurai to fetch refreshments.”

    It is common courtesy to offer tea to anyone who comes to your home. But it is no so with the Airforce Commander. He is looking at the Airport through his racist mindset. He is not alone, there are plenty of others like him everywhere.

    In Canada one is not permitted to call a coloured person ‘nigar.’ considered a derogatory word. If you do you may face imprisonment in prison.

    In Sri Lanka calling the Tamils ‘parai demelas’ is a common practice. There is a law against creating hatred towards others. But it is never implemented.

  • 0
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  • 3
    1

    Prof. Hoole has contributed to widening the communal rift than any other player in this story.

    Technicians, Civil Servants, Local politicians, administrators and vegetarians of all race, religion and colour attending politicized functions are treated no better in the South.

  • 0
    0

    is this john the same guy who says he he has sex with children in hikkaduwa and in baticalore the muslims chased him from approaching children. The buddhist are a stupid race, there stupidity will sell the country to chineese, and will be a minority in sri lanka..

  • 0
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  • 1
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    Venugopal your presentation is going from bad to worse. What are trying to say here. Palali airport or why your father got killed because he betrayed the Tamils who voted for him. Why don’t you be more specific in what your are trying to say instead of mourning your late father and relating his death to every event that happens around the world. Had your father not betrayed his Tamil voters do you still think he would have been killed. Did he ask his voters a word as to why he wanted to cross over. Was it for for the people’s benefit or for his and his family’s benefit or due to his unrealistic thinking and logic and belief. Do you think you are filling the vacuum left behind. Tired of your rant in no way different to Blind Eagle or HLD or Udesh. By the way how many children you personally sacrificed.

    • 0
      0

      Dear Nathan

      I have given you thumbs up and please keep writing and share your amazing knowledge/revelations…otherwise we would not know how to relate/bench mark all else you write with regard to facts.

      I am also really sorry you are sick and tired of my rant….apologies and kindly forgive me Sir.

      Thank you

  • 0
    1

    In 1974 Sirimavo Bandaranaike established the Jaffna University hoping it would pave the way for ethnic harmony. The exact opposite of that happened. Today the Tamil nationalists calling for sinhala blood are trained in the Jaffna uni. So it will be the same with this air port.

    • 1
      0

      Sach, in 1943 British government established the Colombo University, hoping it would pave way for ethnic harmony. The exact opposite of that happened. Today the Sinhala nationalists calling for Tamil blood are trained in the Colombo uni. So it is the same with other institutions.

  • 1
    0

    Uthungan

    I am sorry I didn’t know he has a habit of hearing voices in his head.
    The voices could order him to do many things.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Sach
    That is because several Tamil MP’s joined hand to work with the government to ‘get things done’ in a united way setting example for a brighter future. There were millions of things were done we have not even begun to talk about it yet. All will transpire soon as truth is difficult to bury………..the Tamil dreams and aspirations were systematically killed when they started realising the duplicity of the FP/ITAK/TULF and then the thuggery/intimidation/killing was the result when this folly started sacrificing our children to the death/training camps in foreign hands………then the rest of the killings of innocent Tamils were carried by the Thugs from down south??. The Tamil people of Sri Lanka were savaged by both sides and had no where to go………..the Tamil Nadu politicians/FP/TULF one side and the thugs who killed the innocent Tamils for the actions masterminded by the above folly.
    1981 Development council election was the last stroll for the Tamils and for greater SL to survive this monsterous war to ensue even that was taken away from them by killing all the candidates……..you have to ask yourself that if you believe in Tamil intelligence/democratic choice then why you have to kill your opponents………..now we know why.
    I was present in the opening ceremony of the Jaffna university (aged 11 years old) standing next to our late Hon PM when the ribbon was cut.
    The Tamils were the victims intially because their children were taken away at such young age without the knowledge/consent of their parents and poisoned somewhere else in foreign lands.
    Anyone openly exercised their wish not to support the folly were killed not by the Sinhalese thugs first but by our own children up North…..no UN came to help.

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