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
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.