LTTE seeks road supply to Jaffna civilians
[TamilNet, Thursday, 31 August 2006, 14:16 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers are ready to allow food and medicine for the civilians in Jaffna to be transported by road through the Vanni, to ease the difficulties of the population there, LTTE officials told the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Wednesday. Agreement on the use of a sea route to the peninsula is proving problematic as the Sri Lanka military is seeking to resupply its garrison there under the guise of aid for civilians, LTTE officials said.
The head of the LTTE’s Political Wing, Mr. S. P. Thamilselvan, informed the ICRC Wednesday that the LTTE was “completely prepared” for supplies of food, medicine and other essentials to be transported to Jaffna by road, LTTE officials told TamilNet.
The LTTE met with the ICRC following requests by religious and society leaders as well as parliamentarians of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for the LTTE to urgently facilitate humanitarian supplies to civilians in Jaffna via the A9 highway.
The government-controlled peninsula is cut off from the rest of the island by a large swathe of LTTE-controlled territory, the Vanni, through which the A9 passes.
Whilst the Muhamalai area on the border between Vanni and Jaffna has been the scene of heavy battles between the LTTE and Sri Lankan forces in the past few weeks, the LTTE is prepared to open a land route to the region for the purpose of civilian supplies, LTTE officials said.
The unverifiable nature of transporting material by sea makes supply by ship problematic, they said.
This is particular so given Sri Lanka military’s past practice of transporting munitions to its Jaffna garrison in ships operating under the neutral flag of aid agencies, they said.