Real Kilinochchi Market Connectivity Attempt

Unwrapping the Real North Islands for tourism & The Real North Tourism Market Connectivity Attempt Kilinochchi District

Kilinochchi is one of the most connected districts in the Northern Province with entrances to all four districts. Being such a connected district coupled with a thriving agricultural industry has allowed the people of Kilinochchi to become experts in farming and food processing. It is a place steeped in rich history and plethora of undying mysteries. The centuries old traditions have been influenced by local and foreign cultures.

As per the recent surveys, lack of Activities or Performances to explore in a destination makes the tourists unhappy and also reduce the arrivals. Sri Lanka being as one of the best destinations for rich cultures, having various hidden arts that can be promoted towards tourism. Notably, a rich arts and crafts to make wonderful memories for the tourists Northern has a huge potential. Understanding this fact, EFECS pilot project which aims in creating all inclusive tourism value chain in collaboration with public, private and community sectors tested cultural dancing as a strong activity to be promoted as well as the value-added cashew to be promoted as a delicious amenity among the tourists. The identified communities were given an extensive capacity building in Business Planning, Financing, Technical Improvements and Marketing. They were further connected with the market by establishing 25 Real North Product Stores in leading hotels and tourism information centres.

Kilinochchi district inherits two beautiful islands within their ocean periphery that could contribute as a connecting point for the one who travel from Mannar Islands to Jaffna Island base. Naturally rich and attractive islands were demarcated in the Delft based Island Development Plan recently produced by the Northern Province Tourism Bureau to promote Island based Tourism. Integrating all geo segments in North, Northern Province Tourism Bureau in collaboration with the EFECS Project developed a Sustainable Community Based Tourism Strategy centralising Delft Island in order to promote the Northern Islands.

With the intention of unwrapping “The Real North Islands” the newest addition to the Real North umbrella brands cluster and to award the certificates and promotional materials for the artists and entrepreneurs participated in the EFECS pilot project, Northern Province Tourism Bureau organised a stakeholder meeting on 11, October 2021 at 2.30 pm at the Auditorium of the District

Secretariat, Kilinochchi. All empowered entrepreneurs, artists as well as the senior officials of the district participated for the event.

The meeting was Chaired by Mrs. R. Ketheeswaran and moderated by Mr. Stanley Mascarenhas, Chairman, Northern Province Tourism Bureau.

“With its strategic location connected to all other districts as from north to Jaffna, East to Mullaitivu, South to Vavuniya and West to Mannar, Kilinochchi District has an immense potential in attracting tourists. Not only by land, even by the sea, with the presence of beautiful island pieces located in the Kilinochchi Ocean brings further attractiveness to the District. I’m happy to launch the Real North Islands as well as to award the artists and entrepreneurs from Kilinochchi at one forum which leads to sustainable community-based tourism tomorrow. I would like to remind the assistance given by the Divisional Secretary, Poonakary, giving his inputs at all stakeholder meetings that we conducted in order to launch the Real North Island Map and the Investor Guide.” Said Mr. Mascarenhas, Chairman, Northern Province Tourism Bureau making the welcome address of the event.

The initial copy of the Real North Islands Investor Guide and Map were presented to Mrs. R. Ketheeswaran, District Secretary / Government Agent, Kilinochchi District from Chairman, Northern Province Tourism Bureau. The next copy was presented to the Director Planning of the Kilinochchi District Secretariat by Mr. Mohanabawan, Director, Northern Province Tourism Bureau.

“Kilinochchi is a beautiful district with active communities, serene villages and simple lifestyles of people, when piloting the tourism value chain model for Northern Province, I saw a huge potential from Kilinochchi for the SMEs as well as for the cultural activities that are connected with the people mostly” stated Ms. Harshi Abeynayake, Former Tourism Value Chain Officer of EFECS presenting the systematic process of developing a Tourism Value Chain Approach for a destination with the engagement of the Private, Public and Community.

She explained that the EFECS is a 02-year Pilot Project to introduce A Sustainable Community based Tourism Model based on 6As Value Chain Approach and the Northern Province was selected to conduct the Pilot by a Value Chain Research. Further she explained that this project was funded by the Global Affairs of Canada jointly implemented by Développement International Desjardins (DID) of Canada and SANASA International Pvt (Ltd) of Sri Lanka under the guidance of Northern Province Tourism Bureau.

Ms. Abeynayake expressed here deepest gratitude for the District Secretary, Mrs. Ketheeswaran, Additional District Secretary, Mr. Shrimohanan as well as the Cultural Officer of the District Secretariat who supported immensely at the activities conducted in the District. Also, she stated that without the engagement of the trainers from EDB, Palmyra Research Institutes and Manachanayake Dancing Academy this effort won’t be successful and therefore she expressed her sincere gratitude for all teachers and the trainers engaged with the project.

“I’m grateful to the Project Director from Développement International Desjardins (DID) of Canada and Managing Director, SANASA International Pvt (Ltd) of Sri Lanka as well as for all project staff engaged with this initiative specially Mr. Viswanathan Sinthujan and Mr. Kulendran Hershanth, Ms. Karthika, Ms. Vibeeshana and Ms. Saageny” stated Ms. Abeynayake. She also presented her deeper gratitude to the Chairman, Director, and the entire staff of Northern Tourism Bureau for backing this initiative in North.

Highlighting the importance of branding and marketing, EFECS Project created 11 brand logos, slogans, and attractive brochures to connect the rurally based entrepreneurs considered in the pilot with the tourism market. The initial copies of the brochures were presented to the government stakeholders by the Former Value Chain Officer (EFECS Project), Ms. Harshi Abeynayake.

Mrs. R. Kethieswaran, District Secretary, Kilinochchi
Director Planning, Kilinochchi District Secretariat
Mr. Subair, Assistant Cooperative Commissioner, Kilinochchi
Ms. S. Vigayratnam Cultural Officer, District Secretary, Kilinochchi

Kilinochchi is one of the most interconnected districts in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. As a result, it became one of the most industrious districts, trading with its neighbours. The trade comes with cultural influences as well, you can see the impact of these influences in the variety of foods and traditions found in Kilinochchi. One of the most iconic aspects of Kilinochchi is the cultural dances associated with the area. Today these dedicated individuals belonging to dance troupes help to keep these cultures alive. The Kilinochchi Cultural Troupe performs unique types of traditional dances.

With the proactive tagline “Timeless Traditional Dance”, Kilinochchi Cultural Troupe was given an attractive branding as well as a colourful brochure to promote their products. A set of business card also given for the purpose of using in the future to connect with the market.

Similarly, the teams were given an extensive training on professionalisation including the professional stage preparations, make ups, costume preparations, choreography and practical by the Manchanayake Dancing Academy with the personal participation of Mr. Lakshman Manchanayake, Mr. Kingsley and Mr. Vageshan renowned dancing professionals from Colombo, Northern and Eastern of Sri Lanka. Although it was planned to showcase their talents to the stakeholders through an event, it was not possible due to the pandemic restrictions during the project time. Although the project was ended on 30th September 2021, Former Value Chain Officer requested all artists to be connected as one team to be success in the near future. “We were unable to organise the event due to the pandemic, yet during the limited time and many pandemic restrictions, finally we were able to produce this attractive brochure. Although we could not take all artist’s faces into this brochure, I hope this would be a start for all of you to begin your professional careers with cultural dancing, I wish all of you the very best!” Stated Ms. Abeynayake in a post comment after the programme.

Accordingly, Promotional Materials were presented for four societies namely, Sivakalai Natiyalaya, Krishna Arts Club, Jannu Arangetram Arts Club and Rasanayakam Arraneri School in Kilinochchi. The awards were given by Mr. Subair, Assistant Cooperative Commissioner, Kilinochchi, Director Planning of the District Secretariat Kilinochchi, Mr. Mohanabawan, Director, NPTB and Ms.Abeynayake, Former VCO Tourism of EFECS Project.

Presentation of the Promotional Materials and certificates for the Jannu Arangetram Arts Club, Kilinochchi

Presenting the promotional materials and
certificates to Sivakalai Natiyalaya
On behalf of Krishna Arts Club an artist is receiving
the promotional materials and certificates
On behalf of Rasanayakam Arraneri School, an artist is receiving the promotional materials and certificates
Mr. Krishnananda, Certified Tour Guide from Kilinochchi who supported the programme also presented with a set of brochures from Ms.Abeynayake

The certificates for the trainees attended from Mahadewa Swamikal Children’s Home were given to the President of the Society, Mr. Mohanabawan by the Cultural Officer of Kilinochchi District Secretariat at the event.

“Sri Lanka’s history with the cashew tree dates back to when the Portuguese brought the first plants over from Brazil during their occupation in the 16th century. It is a tropical evergreen tree that can grow up to 14m tall, however, the dwarf (6m) variants are preferred by growers due to their earlier maturity and greater yields. Harvesting the cashew tree yields not only the seed which contains the popular cashew nut, but also the cashew apple fruit and the shell which houses the nut. The fruit is a light reddish to yellow fruit and its pulp and juice can be processed into a sweet fruit drink or fermented and distilled into liquor. Even the shell has its applications including lubricants, waterproofing and paints. The majority of Sri Lankan cashew is grown in the dry zone and is an industry that is poised to export to many countries including Africa, Brazil, Vietnam, and neighbouring India. Vanni cashew has the delectable and unique taste associated with cashew grown in the dry zone and their curated process and crafted flavours truly shine through in the products offered.”

NatureWins Pvt Ltd famed as Vanni Cashew was empowered through the pilot programme to make a live model of value-added products which also connects with the attraction element when it comes to the green cashew estates.

NatureWins Pvt Ltd was incorporated in 2019 with the aim of creating a sustainable social business that could empower the women of Killinochchi. It creates employment opportunities and provides a source of knowledge and information regarding best agricultural practices. NatureWins was one of the first cashew processing organizations established in the Northern Province. The company currently provides employment opportunities to a number of local women and is located in Poonakary within the district of Kilinochchi.

The marketing materials and the certificates were presented to the Naturewins Owner, Successful Entrepreneur Ms. Jasmin by Mrs. Ketheeswaran, District Secretary, Kilinochchi at the forum.

Ms. Abeynayake, presenting the certificates of the Digital Marketing Training Programmes Attended by the Department of Cooperative, Kilinochchi ACCD Office to Mr. Subair, Assistant Cooperative Commissioner, Kilinochchi

Mrs. R. Ketheeswaran, District Secretary of Kilinochchi delivered a fruitful speech addressing the two initiatives that were conducted during the programme. Mrs.Ketheeswaran is a senior officer in Public Service holding long years of experience in public administration. She always motivates new initiatives and encouraging the officials in looking at more innovative options for the community development.

“One day I was travelling through Anuradhapura and stopped at a supermarket, there I saw a lovely pack of cashew and wondered this was made in Poonakary, when the EFECS team first visited and explained this tourism value chain concept, I shared this experience with them to show how much of things are in Kilinochchi to connect with the value chain. I’m so proud to see the talents of Kilinochchi Children that are awarded in the professional platforms through this beautiful brochure and I’m thankful to Northern Province Tourism Bureau as well as the EFECS Project for initiating this kind of projects for Kilinochchi. As you are aware, Kilinochchi denotes the highest number of poverty in the province, and we need bigger incentives such as tourism to uplift the social standards and entrepreneurship is something we should improve in Kilinochchi” said Mrs. R. Ketheeswaran addressing the gathering.

Mr. Mohanabawan, Director, Northern Province Tourism Bureau expressed his sincere gratitude for all the participants making the vote of thanks of the event.