Batticaloa cultivators protest against SLA ban
[TamilNet, Friday, 27 October 2006, 21:36 GMT]
Batticaloa cultivators demonstrated from
9:00 a.m to 12:00 noon Friday in front of Vantharumoolai Agricultural Productivity Centre demanding the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) lift the 2 month ban to take agricultural vehicles, implements, and fertilizer to their paddy lands in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held areas from Batti-Vallaichenai main road, civil society sources said.
Interior roads including Vantharumoolai Uppodai, Vantharumoolai Thivu road,
Sithandy-Santhanamadu road, Sithandy and Karachiveli, were affected by the ban, said Vantharumoolai sources.
Thousands of members of farming families of the cultivators have been badly affected by the SLA ban, the protesters told.
P. Ariyanenthiran, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian.
The cultivators said they are unable to begin cultivation from
September 15 as advised by the Agricultural Department because of the existing SLA ban to transport commodities and machinery essential for paddy cultivation.
The delay will increase the danger to the crops from monsoon
rains and will damage the maturing crops in the later stage due to shortage of water in the feeding tanks, added the cultivators.
P. Ariyanenthiran, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian said that cultivators have been allowed to go via Uppoddai road from Friday after he took the matter with the Batticaloa 223rd SLA Head Quarters.
The cultivators said that they are subjected to intensive checking before being let to their paddy fields.