SLA closes Muhamalai point at usual time

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 14:12 GMT]
Sri Lanka army closed the only entry point to Jaffna on the A9 highway at the usual hour on Wednesday evening despite the announcement by the Liberation Tigers that they would have their side of the border open until 9.30 p.m. for the convenience of people travelling to the peninsula on Christmas Eve and Christmas. A Sri Lanka army officer at the SLA’s Muhamalai entry point told TamilNet’s Jaffna correspondent Wednesday evening that there were no orders from his high command to reciprocate the LTTE’s gesture for Christmas and New Year.

The Liberation Tigers said Tuesday their side of the entry points at Omanthai, Muhamalai and in Mannar would remain open until 9.30 p.m. on 24, 25 and 31 December and 1 January 2004.

The SLA opens its entry points to Jaffna and the Vanni at 7 a.m. and closes them at 5.30 p.m.

The International Committee of the Red Cross too left the Muhamalai entry point at the scheduled of closing Wednesday.

“We expected the Sri Lanka army to reciprocate as it concerns the people’s convenience at this time of the year when many want to visit family and friends in Jaffna. Our gesture was meant to convey a feeling of goodwill to all the people in these times of peace”, an LTTE official said, expressing regret that the SLA closed the entry point at 5.30 p.m.

 

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