Stranded Tamil civilians in Vavuniya demand opening of A9 highway
[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 August 2006, 12:30 GMT]
About six hundred Tamil civilians stranded in Vavuniya due to the closure of Vavuniya-Omanthai Sri Lanka Army (SLA) check point Thursday morning held a protest in front of the office of the Vavuniya District Secretariat demanding that they should be sent to their villages and towns in the districts of Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Killinochchi, sources said.
Protesting civilians said for the last five days since the closure of the SLA check point they have been undergoing untold hardships in Vavuniya without shelter and food. Civilians travelled to the south of the country before the closure of A9 highway have been stranded in Vavuniya, sources said.
Vavuniya district secretariat was told by the Vanni SLA military authorities that they would reopen the Omanthai checkpoint only on the orders of the Defence Ministry. Of the stranded civilians about 260 are public servants working in the government departments in Jaffna, Killinochchi and Mullaitivu, sources said.
Mr.Kishore Sivanathan, Vanni district parliamentarian contacted President Mahinda Rajapakse regarding this.
Meanwhile about 250 lorries and other vehicles transporting materials and goods to Wanni and Jaffna have also been stranded at Thandikulam due to the closure of A9 highway, sources said.