[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 June 1999, 18:29 GMT]
Hundreds of devotees returned home disappointed this morning after the SLA refused them permission to attend the annual ‘pongal’ festival of the Iyakkachchi Thiriyai Amman temple, residents said.
The village of Iyakkachchi is situated between Vadamarachchi and Thenmaradchi in the Jaffna district.
Usually many hundreds of devotees attend the annual ‘pongal’ festival at the historic temple.
This morning devotees set out by foot to the temple but were turned back by SLA personnel at the Kaththappu sentry point in Thenmaradchi.
Devotees who were going to the temple through the Maruthankerni sentry point also were refused permission to attend the ‘pongal’ festival.
The devotees were forced to return home disappointed as they had been unable to fulfil their vows to the deity in the temple.