The north and the east of Sri Lanka still look a separate country. Don’t be alarmed. This is not a separatist or racist claim.
But, if you go, either to Jaffna or Vavuniya, you will feel like you are in a separate country. The reason being that in the context of communication, you will be 90 per cent isolated. Especially, if you have a Dialog mobile or data connection, it is certain that you will be cut off from the rest of the world. For someone who is used to the internet, spending a week in the northeast will be suicidal.What is the reason? An investigation revealed that certain mobile service providers are reluctant to build their communication towers in the two provinces. It is very clear that they do not want to build their towers in state land or in land seized by the military, and lose their investments.
Most of the country’s land area is state-owned. In the north and the east, most of the land of Tamil civilians taken over by the military still remain so. No one knows the exact figures. We cannot expect authorities to give correct figures.
Although it is claimed that civilian land has been returned, military camps are located every half a kilometre in the north. Soldiers patrol the area. Civilians still remain terrified. No responsible party has an honest intention to end that culture of terror. In such a scenario, whose fault is it that mobile service providers are adopting a backward approach with regard to their services in the north and the east.
By a special correspondent