Travel restrictions to Delft continues for second day

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 May 2007, 18:41 GMT]
Restrictions on sea travel between Delft islet and Ku'rikkadduvaan pier imposed by Sri Lanaka Navy (SLN) since Thursday continues to remain in effect, causing severe hardships for civilians, civil society sources in Jaffna said. The action by SLN following the pre-dawn attack on the naval base in Delft, off Jaffna coast Thursday by Sea Tigers has isolated the islet from rest of the peninsula. All telephone connections to Delft have been disconnected and no information is available about the fate of the 7000-strong residents in the islet.

The only means of transport to Delft (Neduntheevu), the islet located west of the peninsula, is by sea, and every day boats carrying civilians ply twice between Ku'rikkaddoovaan and Delft. The sea travel ban has trapped the civilians in theislet with no means of attending to their daily needs.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) High command at Palaly announced Friday early morning of lifting of the curfew imposed on all the islets except Delft. The civilians traveling to Kayts and adjoining islands have been permitted to travel through Pannai cause way and proceed via Allaipiddy.

The SLN is currently conducting large scale cordon and search operations, and tension prevails in the area.

A larger number of Special Task Force (STF) personnel have landed in the islet for rescue operations.

Delft (Neduntheevu) is the farthest and biggest of the inhabited islands off the Jaffna peninsula and the nearest of the inhabited islands of Jaffna from Rameswaram. The name Delft was given by the Dutch when they named the islets of Jaffna, after place names in Holland.



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