Bishop calls for urgent transport of food to Jaffna via A9

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 November 2006, 16:18 GMT]
Bishop of Jaffna, Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundara nayagam, in a letter addressed to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse Sunday, urged the President to follow through on his proposal to send food and other essentials to Jaffna through A9 highway. The Bishop said he would like to believe that the proposal is "a humble and good gesture on the part of the Government. to build trust and confidence with the Tamil people," and as a "genuine desire of the GOSL to attend to the Humanitarian needs of the people."

Full text of the letter follows:

His Excellency Mahinde Rajapakse
President of Sri Lanka
Temple Trees
Colombo.

Your Excellency

Your decision to send Food to Jaffna by A9 Road


Bishop Thomas Soundaranayagam
Bishop Thomas Soundaranayagam
We read from the papers your Excellency's decision to send Food by A9 Road as a one time exercise to Jaffna and I welcome it . Considering the inclement weather in this part of the year, transport by sea is very tedious process and there are unavoidable delays. Transport by Road is easier and quicker if the Govt, wants to build a buffer food-stock in Jaffna. Your decision is a sign of your concern for the people of Jaffna and your response to the repeated request made by the people of Jaffna to open the A9 Road. This also would assist very much to revive the Private Trade sector in Jaffna.

Most Rev.Duleep de Chickera , Anglican Bishop of Colombo also has welcome this proposal to open the A 9 Road and also has appealed to the LTTE and the International community to co-operate to make this a success for the sake of the suffering people of Jaffna.

We don't want to believe that this proposal of GOSL was done as a propaganda ploy to satisfy the Co-chairs before their important meeting but we see it as a humble and good gesture on the part of the Govt. to build trust and confidence with the Tamil people. We see it as a genuine desire of the GOSL to attend to the Humanitarian needs of the people. Should this effort turn out to be a big success there is nothing to prevent that this mode of transport to continue also in the future. It is our opinion that before its implementation it has to be discussed in detail with the LTTE and their consent is obtained. The services of the SLMM and the ICRC is necessary before it is put into operation.

Your Excellency , while we thank you for this bold decision and we pledge our support for the success of this venture, we also strongly hope that you would consent to the re-opening of the A9 eventually.

Yours sincerely

Rt.Rev.Dr.Thomas Savundaranayagam
Bishop of Jaffna.

 

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