New cycle parts banned
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 December 1998, 18:47 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) units stationed at the checkpoint between government and LTTE held areas, at Uylankulam in Mannar district have denied permission for the civilians entering the LTTE-held Vanni to take new bicycle parts along with them, civilians from there said.
This measure came into force a week ago, they added.
Prior to this the SLA allowed the civilians to take new cycle parts such as handle bars, rims, tyres etc. without hindrance.
But now the SLA has instructed them not to take new items with them. However, they said, the SLA is allowing old cycle parts through.
Sources in Mannar said that as a result of the SLA's regulations, demand for second hand parts has shot up, and owners of cycle repair shops are doing brisk trade in old components.
The SL government has banned the movement of all civilian vehicles to and from the Vanni region. No fuel is allowed into the Vanni except a limited quantity of kerosene, they added.
Due to this long-standing restriction, bicycles are the only mode of transport for civilians in the Vanni. People there say they are completely reliant on the kerosene and cycle parts allowed in by the SLA.