SLA transport ban impedes development in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 October 2006, 09:23 GMT]
P. Ariyanenthiran, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian for Batticaloa said that despite the assurances given by Basil Rajapakse, brother of and Senior Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka, on June 29 that the military-imposed economic and transport restrictions in Batticaloa district would be lifted, situation on the ground has remained the same with all development projects at a standstill without building materials.

Development projects under Parliament Members' allocation, Mahintha Chinthanaya, and other NGO funded construction have been adversely affected by the ban on transporting building materials from Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled areas, added the MP.

Though the North East Coastal Community Development Project (NECCDEP) has started a project of building 4000 houses for the people of Batticaloa affected by war and tsunami, the project remains in the initial stages for want of building materials. If this project is not completed within the financial year several millions of rupees allocated faces the risk of being withdrawn, said Ariyanenthiran.

Representations made by the TNA parliamentarians to Batticaloa's military-civil coordinating officer Maj. Gen. Wetty Perera too have failed to have the restriction lifted.

Around 70% of the Batticaloa district is within the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) control while the remaining 30% is controlled by the Sri Lanka armed forces. As the raw materials essential for construction works are found mostly in the LTTE controlled area the military-imposed restrictions hamper the progress of development projects, explained the TNA parliamentarian.


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