Sri Lanka mulls aviation complex in former Tiger jungle airstrip

Mar 24, 2010 (LBO) – A makeshift airstrip built by Tamil Tiger separatists in the jungles of northern Sri Lanka is to be turned into an aviation complex under government post-war reconstruction plans, an official said. L H Indrasiri, director, geographical information systems of the Urban Development Authority, said the proposal was part of a regional development plan for the island’s northern province.

The Tamil Tigers built an airstrip in thick jungle at Iranamadu, near an irrigation reservoir, when the area was under their control.

The airstrip was used by the rebels for training for their air wing made up of light aircraft and was bombed several times by air force jets.

The Tigers were crushed in May 2009, ending their 30-year ethnic war in the north and east.

The government wants to develop the airstrip into an aviation complex, training and research institute, Indrasiri told a seminar organised by the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council to brief investors on investment opportunities.

Another former Tiger stronghold in Mullaithivu, on the northeast coast, has been earmarked as a centre for fisheries-based engineering equipment industry and for sea-based and eco-tourism, Indrasiri said.

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