Different checkpoints, different orders

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 February 1999, 15:56 GMT]
Sri Lankan Army (SLA) personnel stationed at the Vallipuram checkpoint, in the Jaffna peninsula, permitted the resumption of passenger bus service from Pt.Pedro to Sempianpattu yesterday. The bus service was used by residents of the Southeastern coast of the peninsula, an area not directly under the control of the Sri Lankan army.

Residents of about a dozen villages that lay between the coastal village of Sempiyanpattu and Pt.Pedro town frequently used the passenger service before it was banned by the army.

The first twenty five passengers on the newly resumed service started off from Pt.Pedro town towards Sempiyanpattu at 2.00 p.m. yesterday.

The van passed through the Vallipuram checkpoint and proceeded on the Maruthankerni road. It reached the Nagar Kovil SLA check point at around 3 p.m.

Here the SLA personnel said that they had no orders to permit the passenger van through.

The passengers were asked to get off and the vehicle was turned back.

The SLA personnel took national identity cards off all the passengers and told them to wait until they got clearance from their brigade headquarters to let them through.

The passengers waited for two hours at the Nagar Kovil SLA check point .

The soldiers returned the National Identity Cards at 5 p.m. and then told the passengers to walk back.

 

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