Sri Lanka Air Force made its maiden flight to newly constructed Giranike (Killinochchi) air strip yesterday. (Giranike is the original name of Kilinochchi later Tamilinzed as has been the case with many places in the North and East of Sri Lanka). I quote below a part of one of my previous articles in which I mentioned how the original Sinhala name Giranike was coined and how it has been Tamilinized as Kilinochchi.
"The following quoted piece of description in an advertisement by the Commercial Bank in a national news paper of its opening of a new branch in the last month there says it in style.
"The parrots (Gira in Sinhala) who came in flocks perched on the Nika Trees (Vitex negundo) that grew in abundance there and it was why the place was named "Giranike".
In Tamil parrot is called "Killi" and the Nika tree is known as "Nochchi". Through the combination of these two words, the name Killi-nochchi was coined".
Archeological evidences including stone inscriptions once strewn in the area and now destroyed as well as the descriptions in chronicles including Mahavamsa and Deepavamsa say that this area was once a vast complex of a Buddhist monastery in which thousands of Arhats were residing."