SLN restrictions worsen situation in Jaffna peninsula
[TamilNet, Monday, 09 June 2008, 15:10 GMT]
The extended hours of curfew Saturday and the restrictions on movement of public imposed again besides the ban on fishing by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) have severely affected normalcy of life in Jaffna peninsula, sources in Jaffna said. The relaxation of the above restrictions adopted after the recent meeting of peopleís representatives with the SLA commander at Palaali Military Head Quarters has been withdrawn along with the extension of curfew hours. Meanwhile, all cellular phone connections in the peninsula have been cut off since Saturday and all CDMA mobile phones were also disconnected from Sunday.
There are more than 4000 CDMA mobile phones served by Sri Lanka Tele Communication Department and more than 40,000 cellular phones being used in Jaffna peninsula.
The land phones, however, are functioning normally.
Vehicular traffic to and from Jaffna city was delayed long, adding to the congestion of traffic.
Earlier, the public were permitted to cross Kandy road and Palaali road at certain points under military surveillance when they were being used by SLN convoys of vehicles, an arrangement which had considerably helped people to enter and leave Jaffna town without long delays and waiting.
This arrangement being withdrawn with effect from Monday, people had to wait more than two hours at the sides of the road for the convoys to pass by.
Both public and private transport services in Jaffna peninsula were terminated at 4:00 p.m. because of the newly extended curfew hours from 7:00 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. daily.
Hundreds of people were seen waiting along the roads to reach home before transport services were stopped completely.
These abrupt changes of routine and the imposition of severe restrictions have precipitated a state of tension and apprehension which seem to be spreading to all parts of Jaffna peninsula, the sources said.