Today (October 13th), the President is scheduled to re-commision the Colombo-Jaffna Yal Devi rail link all the way to Jaffna – a route not travelled for decades. I have always believed that transport connectivity and the resultant people-to-people connectivity is an integral part of reaching national harmony.
The Yal Devi re-commissioning has strong economic implications too, as I shared with Amantha Perera in an interview for his article, subsequently published here. In it I note,
“The new transport [line] can certainly boost economic connectivity of businesses in Jaffna and Mannar,” Wijesinha said. “But enterprise policies must focus on helping to grow indigenous businesses in these regions. Otherwise the enhanced connectivity might benefit businesses coming from outside into these regions more than it helps businesses that are already struggling to grow.”
“Policies that improve the business climate, access to finance, technology and business skills will be key,” Wijesinha concluded.