SLN seeks isolation of Delft, residents fear
[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 December 2008, 15:03 GMT]
Residents of Delft (Neduntheevu), the Jaffna islet which is under the command of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), have accused the SLN military officials of attempting to curtail communication links with the rest of the Jaffna Peninsula, sources in Jaffna said. A 48-hour new pass system introduced to the visitors of the islet is a step towards keeping Delft isolated, civil society sources in the islet said.
Visitors to the islet have to obtain a permit restricted to 48-hours before they are allowed to visit their relatives in the islet or to attend hindu temple festivals.
Visitors are stopped at the jetty, subjected to intense questioning, and required to provide a written statement of their bona fides before they are given the pass. Other visitors are turned back, sources said.
International Non-Governmental Organizations are no longer present in the islet, and the Sri Lanka Government's relief efforts are erratic, as relief officials visit the island infrequently, civil sources complained.
Following the attack by Liberation Tigers early 2008 when the Delft radar base was destroyed, the SLN rebuilt and reopened a new facility in October 2008, and instituted strict security measures limiting the movement of local residents within the islet.
The new pass system is an attempt to create additional hardships to the islet residents, civil society sources said.