SLA provides security to fuel, flour transport from Trinco

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 October 2004, 10:40 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Wednesday commenced providing security to lorries transporting fuel from Ceylon Petroleum Corporation refinery and flour from Prima Flour Mill, both are located in Chinabay, about nine km off Trincomalee town to other provinces. This follows the threat by North East Sinhala Association (NESA) that it would set up road blockades from Wednesday, demanding the release to Sinhala home guards arrested by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and remanded on the orders of Thamileelam court, sources said.

A group of Buddhist monks and some other miscreants gathered at the Chinabay junction Wednesday morning and kept logs obstructing lorries transporting flour and fuel to outstation. The SLA soldiers removed the road blocks and dispersed the crowd bringing transport of fuel and flour to normalcy, Police sources said.

Thereafter soldiers provided security to such lorries in convoy to transport fuel and flour to other districts, sources said.

Private and state bus services from Trincomalee to outstations came to a standstill due to general shut down called by NESA. However two state buses from Vavuniya arrived in Trincomalee Wednesday with commuters and returned the same day.

A bus which came from Colombo was stopped at Tampalakamam and turned back to Kantalai. But the Trincomalee Police immediately contacted Kantalai and advised them to direct all buses coming from Colombo to Trincomalee and not to turn back, as situation in Trincomalee is normal, Police sources said.

Meanwhile almost all shops in the bazaar area, Central Road and North Coast Road were shut down irrespective of nationality. A member of the District Chamber of Commerce said it has become a routine for traders of all communities in Trincomalee town to close their establishments on a hartal day irrespective of their political affiliation to ensure their security and safety.

However Tamil medium schools functioned as usual. Offices of provincial council and urban council were open. However branches of State and private commercial banks did not function. The Trincomalee district secretariat also did not function, as majority of employees did not report for work due to transport difficulties, sources said.

Sinhala vendors closed the Trincomalee vegetable and fish market, which is the property of Trincomalee Urban Council. Sinhala vendors dominate the market, sources said

More soldiers and policemen were deployed in the east port town as a precautionary measure. Police Riot Squads were kept in readiness to meet any untoward incident in the town and its outskirts, police sources said.

In the meantime ten LTTE cadres now in remand in Batticaloa prisons on various charges are to be produced in Batticaloa courts on the instruction of the Magistrate on receipt of bail orders from the Court of Appeal (CA). CA has already allowed the bail application of the LTTE cadres. Each LTTE cadre is allowed cash bail in a sum of Rs: 50,000/= and with two sureties, each should sign a bond for a sum of fifty thousand rupees, legal sources said.


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