SLN limits transport of fish, coconuts from Delft to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 13 April 2008, 16:56 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), stationed in the islets of Jaffna, has imposed restrictions on Neduntheevu (Delft) residents carrying essential goods in Kumuthini passenger ferry boat, affected residents said. Neduntheevu residents have protested against the SLN pointing out that Kumuthini is the only passenger service plying between Kurikaaduvaan in Pungudutheevu and Neduntheevu, and their economic well-being will be affected by the new restrictions. Kumuthini, which is known for the SLN massacre of passengers in May 1985, is more than 30 years old, and often breaks down.

Kumuthini passenger ferry boat

Though a few private boats are in service on the said route, they transport only goods.

Neduntheevu residents take their local produce like fish and coconuts to be sold in Jaffna, and the SLN restriction in transport of these goods has very much affected their income.

Kumunthini, in the first four months in 2008, had been in disrepair seven times.

Though the Sri Lanka government says it had spent around Rs:10m for repairs of Kumuthini, the boat, being very old, breaks down frequently causing inconvenience to the people of Neduntheevu.

SLN has appropriated one of the two boats provided by the government intended for use between Kurikaaduvaan and Neduntheevu.

The fate of the other boat, allocated to Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), is not known after SLMM was forced to leave Sri Lanka.

Kumuthini is the name of the passenger ferry between the island of Delft and Pungudutheevu, via Nainaatheevu. On 15th May 1985, Sri Lankan Navy personnel stopped her at mid-sea, and the government Navy personnel bludgeoned and cut to death all her passengers, including women and children.



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