SLA delays Batticaloa bound train for two hours

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 July 2003, 11:33 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers are refusing to allow Colombo-Batticaloa train to travel past Welikanda before 5.45am in the morning holding the train at the station for two hours citing security concerns, security sources in Batticaloa said.

Batticalo bound train which starts its journey in Colombo at 8pm reaches Welikande at 3.50am. Security forces stationed in Welikande then hold the train at the station till 5.45am before allowing it to resume its journey. The train reaches Batticaloa station at around 8am instead of its normal arrival time of 5.45 am, sources said.

Security forces claim they are unable to provide security for the passengers between Valaichchenai and Welikande and it is for this reason they are holding the train in Welikande till early morning.

Railway officials in Batticaloa said that they are not aware of any security issues or difficulty in travelling between Welikande and Valaichenai in the early hours of the morning. SLA is purposely harassing the travellers and they have complained to the districts' parliamentarians to take appropriate action, officials said.

Train service to Batticaloa resumed after several false starts due to faulty workmanship in laying railway tracks.


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