Batticaloa vehicles barred

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Under the new regulation introduced yesterday, no vehicles from Batticaloa will be allowed beyond two boarder points to Colombo. According to the new travel regulation, which came into effect, at 12.00 noon yesterday, all the vehicles from Batticaloa would be stopped at Manampittiya on the Batticaloa-Polannaruwa border and people and goods will be transferred to vehicles brought from Colombo at this point.

This regulation has been introduced, according to the Sri Lankan Police sources in Batticaloa town, to prevent vehicles laden with explosives entering Colombo.

Vehicles from Batticaloa district will not be allowed to proceed beyond Syambalanduwa junction on the only other road that connects Batticaloa with the rest of the island.

This road runs south of Batticaloa and turns west through the Amparai district towards Colombo.

In recent times lorries and other heavy vehicles were detained for 24 hours on this road at Syambalanduwa junction as at Mannampiddi.

The information about the new regulation rang alarm bells among businessmen and lorry owners, who had already been severely affected by earlier restrictions, which stipulated that all lorries and other heavy vehicles from Batticaloa were to be detained and checked at Manampittiya, before being allowed to Colombo.

Local politicians said that this regulation would isolate Batticaloa district from the rest of the island, the way LTTE controlled areas of Vanni had been cut off.


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