Colombo imposes embargo on cement, steel, limits fuel supply to North

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 May 2006, 09:44 GMT]
Sri Lankan defense authorities, on Friday, banned the transportation of cement and steel to North. Government Agents (GAs) in Jaffna and Vavuniya have been informed of the decision by the Defense Ministry in contravention of the provisions in the February 2002 Ceasefire Agreement, political sources said. More than 20 lorries loaded with cement have been stopped at Omanthai checkpost Friday and are being held at the checkpost awaiting instructions from Defense Ministry, sources said.

Meanwhile the fuel supply to the area is also curtailed to the north. In Jaffna, most of the filling stations are issuing very limited quantity of fuel to motorists, residents from Jaffna said.

Construction works already underway in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar and Mullaitivu have come to a halt with the introduction of the ban, sources at GA office in Jaffna and Vavuniya said.

February 2002 Ceasefire Agreement specifies that 10 000 bags of cement must be allowed per month to the private commercial market in addition to allowing the necessary cement through Government Agent for the reconstruction and rehabiliation and governmental work in the NorthEast.

The CFA agreement also specifies that the iron rods for building constructions will be brought into the LTTE controlled areas under licenses issued by the GA.

A decade long economic embargo imposed on the region by successive Sri Lankan regimes before the Ceasefire Agreement in February 2002, caused severe hardships to the people in Vanni.

Vanni district TNA MP Sivanathan Kishore said he has lodged a complaint to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday regarding the ban.


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