Army bans civilians from leaving Vanni
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The government decided to completely ban civilians from the LTTE controlled parts of the Vanni unless for very special reasons according to new strict regulations which came into affect from today. No civilians from the LTTE controlled parts of the Vanni will henceforth be permitted to enter Vavuniya.
They will have to go to Mannar to get clearance to travel to Colombo or for other reasons. Only government servants from the LTTE controlled areas and those in need of urgent medical treatment who get endorsement from the District Medical Officer (DMO) of Mannar will be granted passes to enter and stay in Vavuniya for the period specified in their documents.
Furthermore, only those civilians from the LTTE controlled parts of the Vanni (LCPOV) who have the National Identity Card will be permitted to pass through the army barrier at Uyilankulam juntion on the Mannar -Vavuniya road (this is the only access to government held parts of the Vanni that is currently open).
The army will not accept any other document in lieu of the National Identity Card. Those civilians from LCPOV who enetred Vavuniya before January 18 and obtained permits for one week or two weeks will be granted an extension of only another week and no more.
Those families which came to vavuniya as displaced people from the LCPOV and obtained stay permits as such will also be granted one week extension on their stay permits but they will cannot stay with relatives or friends after the permit expires but will have to stay in one of the transit camps in the town.
Everyone else who came into Vavuniya from LCPOV after January 18 can get their stay permits renewed only for three days. After this they will have to leave the town.
And all the displaced persons and families from Jaffna in the transit camps of Vavuniya who have not got clearance thus far to leave, will be sent back as soon as possible to Jaffna. Those who cannot resettle in their homes in the peninsula will be put in a special camp there.
The refugee camp at the Vavuniya Tamil Maththiya Maha Viththiyalayam camp will be closed down with immdeaite effect and the inmates will be transferred to the Veppankulam camp on the Vavuniya - Mannar road.
All these far reaching and drastic decisions were reached at a meeting in Vavuniya yesterday chaired by Major Gen Asoka Silva. It was attended by the Vavuniya GA, the Vavuniya co-ordinating officer Brig. Seevali Wanigasuriya and Vavuniya Senior Superintendent of Police Gamini de Silva.