News In Brief

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 February 1999, 22:22 GMT]
A new regional coordinating office for the Northeast Provincial has begun functioning, poor roads further damaged by floods are driving up the cost of transport and the bodies of two Liberation Tigers are returned by the Red Cross.

Governor's Vavuniya coordinating office opens

The new co-ordinating office of the governor of the Northeast Provincial for the districts of Vavuniya and Mannar began functioning in Vavuniya today.

The Government Agent (GA) for Vavuniya, K.Ganesh said that officials at the district level are optimistic this new arrangement will assist them considerably to reduce the difficulties experienced in the past while working with the Ministries of the Provincial Council.

Bad roads drive transport costs up

As the roads in the Vanni have been badly affected by the recent monsoon rains and floods, the people in the region still face the great physical hardships in travelling to destinations to the south and north, officials said.

The public is compelled to incur heavy expenses while obtaining transport due to the various constraints in place.

"We have to spend Rs.300/- to travel a distance of 35 miles from Mallavi to Uylankulam in the Army controlled area in Mannar" a trader who travels often to Vavuniya from Mallavi said.

Before the rains, when the roads were little better the cost was Rs.200/- he said.

Meanwhile a passenger travelling from Skanthapuram in the Kilinochchi district to Uylankulam, a distance of about 45 miles, has to spend Rs.400/- for transport, a government official said.

This high cost of traveling is due to shortage of kerosene and the poor condition of the roads.

Officials in the Vanni said that the development and maintenance of food convoy roads need immediate attention.

Tigers’ bodies returned

The bodies of the two Liberation Tigers killed in a confrontation with the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the Mankulam area on Saturday have been handed over to the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRC) in Vavniya by army officials today, to be sent to the LTTE in the Vanni.

Sivanathan Kishore the Northeast Coordinator for the SLRC and the secretary of the Vavuniya branch said that the bodies have been sent to Kalvilaan in the Vanni region today.


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