Diplomats of forty nations shown Jaffna by FM
[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 March 2002, 15:28 GMT]
Diplomats from forty countries visited Jaffna Thursday, accompanied by Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mr. Tyronne Fernando and Minister for Rehabilitation Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena. The high commissioner of India, Mr. Gopalakrishna Gandhi, was among the diplomats who toured Jaffna Thursday. The group saw the burnt out shell of the Jaffna public library and the ruins of the Chavakachcheri town before visiting the SLA's Forward Defence Line on the A9 highway at Eluthumadduval where work on the entry point to the peninsula scheduled to open on 8 April is in progress.
The Sri Lanka army informed Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena that some mines on the road on its side of control are yet to be cleared but that it would be done before April 8 in time for the opening the Eluthumadduval entry point.
|Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mr. Tyronne Fernando and Minister for Rehabilitation Dr. Jayalath Jeyawardena at the meeting in the Jaffna District Secretariat, Thursday. |
Forty civilian workers are currently engaged in constructing sheds for checking travellers and unloading, searching and reloading lorries and other vehicles carrying goods to and from Jaffna.
The foreign diplomats later visited the Pt. Pedro jetty where supply ships from Trincomalee and Colombo are unloaded at sea by boats.
Diplomats from Iraq, Kuwait, Russia, Australia, UK, Netherlands, US, Italy, Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Rumania, Maldives and Germany were also in the group that visited Jaffna with the Foreign Minister, Mr. Fernando. Sri Lanka's Foreign Secretary, Mr. Lal Gamage too was with the group.
The diplomats met with government officials in the Jaffna District Secretariat around 1.30 p.m. No discussions, however, took place between the visitors and the officials.
The foreign minister and the head of the NGO consortium of Jaffna addressed the gathering on issues regarding the peace process. TNA MPs for Jaffna, Mr. N. Raviraj and Mr. A Vinyagamoorthy were also present at the meeting in the Secretariat. The diplomats visited the Jaffna hospital and inspected some wards. The group returned to Colombo in the evening.