SLA fuel ban halts paddy cultivation in Mannar LTTE areas

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 November 2006, 03:12 GMT]
Farmers in villages held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Mannar district are unable to plough their fields due to fuelshortage, agricultural sources said. 90% of paddy fields will remain uncultivated unless Sri Lankan Army (SLA) lifts the ban on transport of petrol and diesel to the LTTE held agricultural villages through Uyilankulam checkpoint, civil sources said.

About ten thousand acres of rain fed paddy lands are in the LTTE held area and about five thousand farmers are engaged in paddy cultivation.

Mannar Government Agent has requested the SLA authorities in the district to allow owners of tractors to take fuel to LTTE held villages through Uyilankulam check point from government controlled areas without delay to plough paddy fields in time for sowing, sources said.

Due to fuel shortage public transport system in the LTTE held villages has almost come to a standstill, sources said.

Mannar Government Agent has also appealed to the SLA authorities to open the Uyilankulam checkpoint on Wednesday also for civilian movement.

Currently the SLA allows civilians to travel to and from LTTE held villages in Mannar district and army controlled only on Mondays and Fridays, sources said.

 

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