SLA stops Sinhala tourists to Nagar Kovil festival

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 September 2002, 17:04 GMT]
Hundreds of Sinhala tourists were blocked by the Sri Lanka army from taking part in the Nagar Kovil temple’s annual festival in Jaffna’s southeastern coast Sunday, sources said. The visitors from the southern parts of the island had come in 30 buses to see the ‘Ship Festival’ (Kappal Thiruvila) of this Tamil temple that lies close to the line of control in the northern peninsula.

The Liberation Tigers have urged the Sri Lankan military to open the road linking villages along Jaffna’s southeastern coast by removing its heavily mined defences blocking the route at Nagar Kovil.

The SLA turned back the visitors at Amban, sources said.

Thousands of local devotees flocked to the Nagar Kovil festival Sunday despite the temple’s location in the SLA’s high security zone. The village of Nagar Kovil lies within a sprawling SLA camp close to the shore.

 

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