Civilians languish in Mannar

[TamilNet, Sunday, 22 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
More than 2000 civilians are languishing in the open exposed elements in the village of Pallamadu in Mannar, as the Sri Lankan Army is refusing them permission to travel through the entry point to the areas controlled by it, at Uyilankulam junction, which lies 9 km west of Mannar, on the Vavuniya - Mannar road.

The problem has arisen in the last few days because only 125 civilians are being granted permission daily by the SLA at Uyilankulam junction to proceed to Vavuniya.

Meanwhile no one seeking permission to travel through Uyilankulam and then proceed to Jaffna is being allowed by the SLA.

With the pressure building up in the western part of the Vanni due to the Operation Jayasikurui, a large number of people are coming towards Uyilankulam to proceed to their villages in Jaffna, through Mannar.

There is already a massive congestion in the Mannar town as more than 5000 civilians are awaiting transport to Jaffna.

The situation in Mannar has been further compounded by a large number of civilians from the LTTE controlled parts of the Vanni who are awaiting permission to proceed to Colombo, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and other parts of the island.

Reports said, that the Mannar town does not have even the minimum basic amenities to cope with the excess population that has come to the town through Uyilankulam.

Government officials say, the crisis is mainly due to the cancellation of passenger ships to Jaffna.

The said the ships will start running only when the seas are less choppy.

About 5000 civilians destined for Jaffna have been housed by the authorities in a transit camp at Pesalai, further west of Mannar town.

Another 5000 are staying in with their friends and make shift lodging houses, that have sprung in the town recently.

Related Articles:
28.01.98   Army bans civilians from leaving Vanni
07.01.98   Transit clearance arrangements changed


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