GA demands action to improve Kilinochchi postal service
[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 May 2003, 15:20 GMT]
Mail is not delivered to a third of the families in the Kilinochchi district, even a half-mile beyond the Kilinochchi town, and immediate action is needed to restore mail delivery, the district’s government agent (GA), Mr. T. Rasanayakam, told Sri Lanka’s Minister for Mass Communication, Mr. Imtiaz Bakeer Markar, at a meeting held at the Vavuniya secretariat, sources said.
The meeting was arranged by the Lankan minister to find out the conditions of the postal services in the war-affected Vanni region. The government agents and other civil service officials of Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Mannar districts participated in the meeting along with the Members of Parliament (MPs) from the districts.
The GAs and MPs told Mr. Bakeer Markar that immediate action was needed to reconstruct the postal infrastructure of the Vanni as it had been completely destroyed, and many key post offices in Kilinochchi, Paranthan, Pallai, Mullaitivu and Puthkudiyiruppu remained fully damaged, the sources said.
In the Kilinochchi district, only a few telephone lines have been provided, and many government departments, key government officials and public organizations have no access to telephone lines. Telecommunication services should be restored, the Kilinochchi GA requested.
In the Mullaitivu district, there is no telecommunication facility at all, and even the district’s GA, who is involved in Rehabilitation and Reconstruction work, has not been provided with a telephone line to his secretariat, the Lankan Minister was told.
The regional manager of Sri Lanka Telecom for the Northeast, Mr. S. Kanagasooriyar, responded, saying that efforts were being made to provide telephone facilities to the Mullaitivu secretariat through Pulmoddai in the Trincomalee district. He also said that a telecommunication tower intended for the Kilinochchi district could not be sent to the district as the SL government and the military have not granted permission to do so.
The postal services department vehicles transporting the mail from Vavuniya to Kilinochchi are not identified and subjected to inordinate delays by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) at the Omanthai checkpoint, and as a result, the vehicles that would normally take the mail to Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu in the morning and have to return in the afternoon face several difficulties, Mr. V. Kumaraguru, the divisional superintendent of postal services in Vavuniya, told SLA officials at the meeting. Maj. Gen. Susil Chandrapala, the Commander of the SLA for the Vanni region, responded that he would take immediate action on this matter, sources said.