Only 40 civilians reach SLA territory during 48 hour announcement by Rajapaksa
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 April 2009, 13:32 GMT]
As a few hours remained of Colombo's announcement of restricting military operations for 48 hours, sources in Jaffna and Vavuniyaa reported that only 40 civilians were registered as having arrived in SLA controlled territory from the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) held area. 26 civilians arrived in boats to Point Pedro Munai in Vadamaraadchi while 14 civilians had reached Vavuniyaa by land during the said period.
The 26 civilians who came by boats first arrived at Vadamaraadchi East and then landed at Point Pedro Munai.
They were later taken to the Sri Lanka detention centres in Thenmaraadchi.
Jaffna Secretariat officials, on instructions from Colombo, had been put on readiness to receive thousands of civilians and to arrange places for them to be held in, the sources added.
Sri Lankan President's announcement said he was instructing the armed forces of Sri Lanka to restrict military operations to defensive nature "to give the civilian population entrapped as hostages by the ruthless actions of the LTTE, the opportunity to celebrate these festivities in a suitable atmosphere and to have uninhibited freedom of movement from the No Fire Zone to the cleared areas," during the New Year period.