SLA opens road to Trinco's southern interior

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 April 2002, 19:34 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army reopened the main road linking the LTTE held southeastern interior of the Trincomalee district Friday following protests by the public. The main road, which runs close to Mahindapura army camp, was closed down for several years by the Sri Lanka Army. The reopening of this main road now enables thousands of Tamils living in more than ten villages in Eachilampathu area, southeast of Mutur to travel without getting down at Mahindapura army checkpoint from buses and other vehicles and walk through along a muddy track, Mutur sources said.

The reopening of this main road now enables thousands of Tamils living in more than ten villages in Eachilampathu area, southeast of Mutur to travel without getting down at Mahindapura army checkpoint from buses and other vehicles and walk through along a muddy track, Mutur sources said.

Tamil villagers complained that that they were subjected to severe body checks and interrogation at Mahindapura army camp checkpoint even after the signing of the cease-fire between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers.

They protested to the district's sole Tamil MP that they were also forced to get down from buses and walk through a muddy side path as the main road was sealed. Vehicles got frequently stuck in the mud they said.

Trincomalee district's Tamil national Alliance parliamentarian Mr. R.Sampanthan during a visit to Eachilampathu villages last week saw Tamil civilians being subjected to severe body checks by the soldiers at Mahindapura army checkpoint and walking along a muddy side path. He then sent protests to higher authorities about the checkpoint.

Meanwhile the office of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Trincomalee will start functioning from next week in a building located in the Inner Harbour Road.

The first meeting of the local SLMM will be held at Uppuveli Hotel Club Oceanic on Monday at 10 a.m., said the Norwegian head of the Trincomalee SLMM, Ms Victoria Lund.

The other foreign monitor for the SLMM in Trincomalee is Mr. Pontus Westrom, a Swedish national.

Ms Victoria Lund said that people could now lodge complaints with the SLMM regarding their grievances after the cease-fire came into force.

"Till now we have received three complaints of cease-fire violations. These complaints will be tabled at the first meeting of the Trincomalee SLMM," she said.

"We have many procedural matters to be discussed at the first meeting of the Trincomalee SLMM", said Mr. Pontus Westrom.


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