Trapped Jaffna residents demand transport facilities

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 January 2007, 22:46 GMT]
More than 500 civilians waiting to travel to areas outside Jaffna peninsula protested outside the Jaffna office of Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (SLHRC) on Saturday morning demanding that immediate arrangements are made to facilitate their travel needs, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

The protesters pointed out that since Jan 13, there have been no transport by sea.

After a delay of about three weeks, a ship sailed out of the Kankesanthurai harbour on Jan 13 for Trincomalee with 330 passengers, after two previous trips were canceled due to inclement weather and security concerns in the northern seas.

Meanwhile, the protesters, made aware that special arrangements are being made by Jaffna Government to transport by ship Saturday government servants employed in the other districts and trapped in the peninsula, demanded that either they too should be accommodated in that ship or a suitable means of transport be provided for them .

The protesters shouted slogans against the Sri Lanka government and the security forces continued their protest till noon.

A memorandum was handed over to the co-ordinator of SLHRC, S. Surenthiran at the end of the protest rally .They have been kept waiting were many months at the Sinhala Maha Vidyalam in Jaffna and there were serious irregularities in providing travel arrangements, a spokesman for the protesters said.

Meanwhile, the Northern Division Army Head office has announced that there would be no sea transport for at least two more weeks since the ship is undergoing repairs.


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