Irate civilians smash travel office in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 10:41 GMT]
More than six hundred prospective passengers who were planning to travel out of Jaffna peninsula by private planes and queuing outside the air line office on Stanley Road on Monday, turned angry when they were told that only one hundred would be given tokens for issue of air tickets. The irritated civilians smashed the windows of the air line office and also caused damages to air-line property inside the building, sources in Jaffna said.

The civilians later attempted to attack the employees but were prevented when a large number of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops arrived at the scene. Several of the civilians were injured when the SLA soldiers attacked the passengers to bring the situation under control, sources said.

Meanwhile, announced Monday that those waiting in Sinhala Maha Vidyalayam for transport by ship should leave the school premises and return to their home immediately. SLA warned that failure to do so will result in them being arrested.

More than 1000 civilians waiting at the school for several months to travel to areas outside Jaffna peninsula had recently protested outside the Jaffna office of Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (SLHRC) demanding that immediate arrangements are made to facilitate their travel needs.

With the A-9 land route for peninsula being closed since August, the transport by ship being suspended for over a month, air travel has become the only mode of transport out of the peninsula.

However, the limited availability of air transport has made the situation very difficult with thousands of civilians including the out of district government employees trapped in the north since 11 August waiting to travel out of the peninsula for various purposes, the

 

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