Access route to be opened on Monday

[TamilNet, Saturday, 07 August 1999, 17:02 GMT]
A safe route to the LTTE controlled areas of the Vanni will be opened on Monday and the first batch of 500 civilians, out of the 2000 who are stranded in Vavuniya, will be allowed to cross over along with 10 truck loads of food, said K.Ganesh, the Government Agent in Vavuniya.

He added that 200 civilians who were stranded in Vanni would also be able to return to Vavuniya.

Government officials said that civilian transport and the food convoy will be escorted by ICRC officials.

The safe route to the Vanni is to be opened along the A9 Vavuniya Kilinochchi trunk road with the consent of the LTTE and the SLA.

Yesterday ICRC officials visited the LTTE and SLA Mankulam defence lines while both parties were engaged in de-mining their respective areas.

"We are hopeful that that the access route to the Vanni will be opened on Monday," said the ICRC spokesman in Colombo, Harasha Gunawardene.

While there will be no crossing tomorrow, the ICRC will escort 500 civilians and ten food lorries through the crossing point on Monday, the ICRC spokesman said.


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