Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 14 September 2013 inaugurated the train service, built by the Indian Railways, to the Northern Province. The crucial rail line to the war-torn Northern Sri Lanka was destroyed 23 years ago. It has been rebuilt by IRCON, a subsidiary of Indian Railways, with full grant assistance from the Indian government. The rail line is crucial for rebuilding the economy of the war devastated Jaffna peninsula, as it will provide a fast link to the economic hub of Colombo. A state-of-the-art signaling and telecommunication system has been installed at all level crossings for maximum safety.
The re-construction of the northern railway line and the return of the popular Yal Devi Express train from Colombo to Killinochchi signals the end of dark days for war-torn Jaffna peninsula, when it was totally cut-off from rest of the country.
With this inauguration, President Mahinda Rajapaksa became the first commuter since 1990 to travel on this inter-city express train when he boarded it at the northern city of Killinochchi. Speaking on the occasion, Indian High Commissioner Y K Sinha congratulated the engineers of Indian Railways for completing the work on schedule by overcoming a number of formidable challenges. The line will be extended to Jaffna by April next year.
When: 14 September 2013