Passenger ferry to transport troops
[TamilNet, Friday, 17 September 1999, 12:30 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Police has restricted the number of passengers travelling in the ferry, Mahaweli, plying between Trincomalee and Muttur to 60 from 100 as of yesterday, residents said.
"Mahaweli" is the only vessel that operates between Trincomalee and Muttur. It can accommodate 100 passengers.
Informed sources in Trincomalee said the restriction has been stipulated to enable the transport of Sri Lankan security forces serving in the Muttur area.
Yesterday morning the police allowed about sixty passengers to travel to Muttur.
In the evening the police allowed only thirty passengers and thirty police personnel to travel on the vessel to Muttur, the sources said.
Several Muttur bound passengers who could not travel made representations to the Trincomalee Harbour Police last evening.
The Police have told them that they were acting on the orders from the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), and that they could complain to the SLA Brigadier, the sources said.
Tamil parliamentarians have earlier appealed to the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry to avoid using public transport for the police and troops.