3RD LEAD (ADDED PHOTOS AND DETAILS)

SLMM Head, visiting Pooneryn, comes under artillery fire

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 November 2006, 10:04 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) fired artillery shells crossed over the Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Major General Lars Johan Sølvberg and his delegation who were visiting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled Pooneryn jetty Wednesday evening to undertake a feasibiity study on Colombo's latest suggestion in opening Pooneryin Sangupitty Road as an alternative to A9. SLA fired artillery shells exploded 200 meters behind in Pooneryn jetty area while the delegation was visiting the site for inspection around 3:15 p.m. The Norwegian Major General returned safely, LTTE officials told TamilNet. While returning, artillery shells exploded at 20 meter distance.

Pooneryn


The visit took place after informing the Sri Lankan defence authorities.

The LTTE Peace Secretariat officials in Kilinocchi said they wanted the Head of SLMM to inspect and verify himself that the Sangupitty - Pooneryn - Mannar Road is not fit as a landroute alternative to A9.

Director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat, S. Puleedevan, told TamilNet that 500 meters of road in the jetty area had been wiped out as SLA artillery and MBRL rocket launchers have been pounding the narrow strip during the last weeks. In addition, there was no land route for 800 meters where ferry service was required.

Maj. gen. Lars Johan Sølvberg also inspected the Pooneryn - Mannar Road, Mr. Puleedevan said.

He further said that the road was not a usable alternative to A9. "It would require months, if not an year to get the the pathway usable, he said, denouncing the route as an alternative to A9.

Johan Sølvberg visited LTTE Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi Wednesday with the Sri Lankan suggestion forwarded by the Sri Lankan Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP).

poonaryn


Pooneryn
SLA fired artillery shells exploding as the HoM was leaving the site in SLMM vehicle.


Pooneryn
Head of SLMM Maj. Gen. Lars Johan Sølvberg [Right], Deputy Director of LTTE Peace Secretariat M. Bavananthan and the Assistant of HoM Pål Erik looking at the Mannar - Pooneryn - Sangupitty Road map.


Pooneryn
HoM seeking refuge at an LTTE bunker in Pooneryn


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