SLA deployment beefed up in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 June 2008, 11:16 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army has been increasing deployment of fresh troops along the Forward Defence Lines with the supply of military hardware. The coastal stretches along the Jaffna lagoon have also been strengthened jointly by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) and the SLA. Extended hours of curfew and increased restrictions on vehicular and civilian movement, blocking all crossings across the main roads, have caused tension among the residents of Jaffna. Additional troops have been brought to Jaffna city within the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Jaffna Commander of the SLA, Maj. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, in an interview to the editorial representative of Jaffna's daily, Uthayan, on Wednesday explained the move as improved security measures in the wake of the recent Sea Tiger attack on Chi'ruththeevu island and cited an alleged announcement by the Tigers to the civilians along the coastal areas to ensure their security during the confrontations. The SLA in Jaffna peninsula, hence, is forced to fortify the security measures throughout the peninsula, he told the paper.
The two-and-a-half-hour extension of the curfew hours Saturday is a part of the security measures introduced while no one will be permitted to cross the main roads when the roads are in use by the SLA convoys until further notice, he added.
SLA has, in the last few days, amassed large number of its troops with military equipments in all parts of the peninsula.
All main roads in the peninsula remain closed for public traffic morning and evening daily when the SLA convoys use them.
Even the vehicles of International and local Non-government Organizations are not permitted to cross the main roads when they are being used by SLA convoys and these vehicles have to wait for more than two hours.
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.
The relaxation of the above restrictions adopted after the earlier meeting of people’s representatives with the SLA commander at Palaali Military Head Quarters has been withdrawn along with the extension of curfew hours.
All cellular phone connections in the peninsula still remain cut off since Saturday. The CDMA mobile phones were also disconnected from Sunday.