SLAF charges money to fly Nalloor devotees to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 September 2007, 09:02 GMT]
Amidst thousands of Chaiva devotees out of Jaffna peninsula unable to attend the annual festival of the Historical Nalloor Kanthasuvaami temple in Jaffna due to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) closure of the A9 land route, the devotees were charged 6,800 rupees per person by the Sri Lanka Air Force, to fly from Ratmalana in Colombo to Jaffna in a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) aircraft, sources in Jaffna said.

A second group of devotees arrived in Jaffna in SLAF aircraft Tuesday to participate in the Nalloor temple annual festival which usually draws thousands of Chaiva devotees from all over the country.

The devotees said they had to pay a sum of 6,800 rupees per head for a return ticket to Jaffna from Colombo in the militay aircraft.

The SLA in Jaffna had not issued the 'pass' that enables residents of Jaffna peninsula to travel out, ruling out the opportunity of flying in the aircraft which brought devotees from Colombo, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

Sufficient arrangement in anticipation of the temple festival had not been made by the SLA to meet the situation, the sources added.

Twenty-seven day annual festival of the historic Nalloor Kathasuvamy Temple in Jaffna began on August 8th morning with the Sacred Flag hoisting ceremony in the presence of large number of devotees.

The chariot festival will be held on September 2 and the Water Cutting festival on September 3, temple authorities said.

 

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