Safe passage can be opened next week -Balagalle

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 August 1999, 13:15 GMT]
The commander of the Sri Lankan security forces in the Vanni, Maj.Gen. Lionel Balagalle, said this afternoon that the message from the Liberation Tigers regarding the opening of a safe passage for civilians through forward defence positions was received by the Sri Lankan army around 11 a.m. today. He said that a reply by the SLA to the LTTE's message consenting to open a passage at Mankulam on the A9 highway was sent forthwith.

According to Maj.Gen. Balagalle, arrangements would be ready in week for opening the access route if the Liberation Tigers confirm matters indicated in the response sent to them by the army today.

Meanwhile, the Vavuniya Kachcheri informed the Vanni civilians stranded in the northern border town since last month to register themselves from tomorrow for passage back home. The announcement was made over loudhailers.

The civilians were told that the preliminary arrangements are made in expectation of an agreement between both parties, the LTTE and the SLA.



The Mullaithivu GA, Mr.R. Tharmakulasingham arrived in Mannar by sea today. Sources said that he is expected in Colombo tomorrow.

They said that five seriously ill patients from the LTTE held parts of the Vanni were brought to the Mannar hospital by boat. Eight such patients were brought to Mannar until Monday August 2. Seven of these have been sent to the Vavuniya hospital for further treatment.

 

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