650 civilians caught in military travel arrangement
[TamilNet, Friday, 08 September 2006, 09:17 GMT]
Around 650 civilians, out of 7000 persons, who rushed to Sinhala Mahavidyalayam site in Jaffna Friday, following announcement by the civil authorities of the Sri Lankan government in local media that a travel arrangement was made for 650 persons to be selected on a first priority basis, are being held inside buses without notifying the travellers on the mode of travel. Meanwhile, NGO sources in Jaffna expressed fear that Sri Lanka Navy was about to use the civilians as human shields to undertake a ship movement from Kankesanthurai.
Chaos prevailed as around 7000 civilians rushed to the Sinhala Mahavidyalayam to be selected for traveling towards Colombo without being informed of the means of travel.
650 persons, selected for the travel arrangement without being informed of the mode of travel, were taken into buses and the Sri Lankan military officials in Jaffna were about to transport the civilians in buses towards Palaly or Kankesanthurai (KKS).
The travelers were caught in tension as they were not informed of the mode of travel.
A Sri Lanka Navy vessel was unloading military supplies at KKS Harbour, port sources said.
The only private ship was the South Indian cargo ship, "City of Liverpool," that was unloading cement in Point Pedro port during the daytime and stays anchored in KKS during the nights in the recent days, the sources added.
NGO officials who did not wish to be named have expressed fear that the civilian travellers selected for travel were caught in a situation where they were going to be used as human shields in a military transport from Jaffna.
The civilians were stranded in Jaffna since clashes erupted in Muhamalai, Jaffna islets and the Palaly military airbase came under artillery fire since August 12.
The Tigers have said they would cooperate with the ICRC for civilian supplies and travel arrangement through the A9 route. The Tiger officials earlier said they would not support air and sea routes for civilian travel or supply arrangements in the atmosphere of the military confrontation surrounding the artillery launchpad Palaly and the military supply route through the sea.