Point Pedro high security zone to remain

[TamilNet, Saturday, 07 September 2002, 22:58 GMT]
The Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary said Saturday that Point Pedro Hartley College and Methodist Girls High School in Jaffna district are within in the high security zone, which encompasses the harbour, courthouse, rest house and some other public offices. The roads leading to these schools will not be opened to the public, he said.

"As such only principals, students and teachers will be allowed to use the roads that leads to these schools without any checking," said Mr. Austin Fernando, Defence Secretary, at a conference held at the 52-4 brigade headquarters of the Sri Lanka Army, Point Pedro Saturday afternoon.

Parents can also use the road, but will be subjected to checks by soldiers and police manning the sentry points, he added.

"The members of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Jaffna will be allowed to monitor to ensure the freedom of movement of students through the college road," Defence Secretary Fernando said.

"Roads through Supper Madam, Kadatkarai and the bus route 751 cannot be opened for security reason. However, it can be reviewed later at a stage depending on the progress of the peace talks between the government and the LTTE," said Mr. Fernando.

When the principals of the schools pointed out that students will not agree to these conditions, Mr. Fernando replied: "This is not our problem. It is the students'. They can make representations to the SLMM and the LTTE, but the army camp in the area will continue to exist."

The Defence Secretary said,"I will submit a report to the Prime Minister on my return to Colombo. We are prepared to close down the camp if the government orders."

The Defence Secretary was on a one-day visit to Jaffna on the instruction of the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile the Police Saturday informed the people of Point Pedro though public address system not to allow their children to engage in activities engineered by some elements which are all out to disrupt the peace.


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