SLA suspends KKS-Trincomalee passenger ship service

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 April 2008, 19:09 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Palaali Military High Command has allegedly issued a directive informing the public that the passenger ship service between Kaangkeasanthurai (KKS) and Trincomalee will be suspended from Sunday until further notice, informed sources in Jaffna said. The military cited security situation as the reason for the suspension. However, Jaffna Government Agent (GA) K. Ganesh has not issued any formal statements regarding this matter until Saturday night, civil socitey sources in Jaffna said.

The suspension of travel service by sea occurs amid the increased and highly charged political propaganda activity towards the hotly contested Provincial Council elections for the Eastern Province.

Local political observers said that the passenger ship service is unlikely to be resumed until after the completion of the elections.

Passenger ship service offered the only form of affordable transport to Jaffna residents to travel South especially to Colombo, after the closure of A9 highway in August 2006.

With the reduced passenger air service civil society sources expressed concern that less than 300 people a day will be able to travel out of Jaffna. During the period when Ceasefire Agreement was in operation, more than 3000 people crossed the border at Mukamaalai daily, according to Jaffna Secretariat statistics.

Civil society sources also expressed concern that SLA may also move to suspend passenger air service. However, there have been no official indications on this matter from the Jaffna GA's office.



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