Military convoys stop traffic
[TamilNet, Friday, 07 August 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The public, travelling from Batticaloa to Polonnaruwa, is caused great inconvenience when military convoys take the road during 'picketing' days, which occur four or five times a week, said sources in Batticaloa.
Elaborate security arrangements are carried out when these convoys move, with Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers lining the road on either side every few yards (known as picketing).
The public complains that private vehicles, public transport, bicycles, pedestrians and even ambulances are forced to move off the road when the SLA convoys pass.
The operation, which takes place twice a day, between 10:00 a.m - 12:00 noon when convoys travel from Batticaloa to Polonnaruwa and 3: 30 - 5:00 p.m., when they return, last between half to three-quarters of an hour.
Though the SLA has used picketing to protect moving convoys before, security measures such as prohibiting all movement of non-military vehicles and pedestrians, has intensified only in the past few months, said sources.