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A Tsunami Memorial on the beach at Amparai

I had not been to Amparai for the whole of 2009, so I was wholly unprepared for the tremendous progress the District had registered since my previous visit in the middle of 2008, as Head of the Peace Secretariat. Then the citizens’ committees we met were still worried about security considerations, about restrictions on movement that restrained economic activity, even about the occasional massacre perpetrated by the tiny groups of Tiger guerillas who had survived the clearing of the East.

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Settlers expelled in the eighties finally resettled in Vavuniya

After the Independence Day celebrations at the Rehabilitation Centres in Vavuniya, I visited a couple of areas that had been resettled. I had been particularly anxious to get to the Rice Bowl in Mannar, since that had been the initial target for rapid resettlement. In the days when the hostile claimed that we intended to keep the displaced permanently in Vavuniya, we were well aware that the President was pressing for rapid cultivation by the returnees.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

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