All transport links to Jaffna to be severed during SAARC

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 July 2008, 14:08 GMT]
In preparing for the forthcoming 15th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to be held from July 27 to August 3 in Colombo, Sri Lanka Government is suspending all transport, by air and ship during a two-week period starting July 25 between Jaffna peninsula and the rest of Sri Lanka, imposing virtual isolation of NorthEast Tamil areas, informed sources from Jaffna said. Although Ministry of Defense has not formally issued a directive, air-transport officials, and port authorities have indicated that the suspension of all forms of transport to and from Jaffna are imminent.

The land route to and from Jaffna, the A9 high, has been closed at the Mukamaalai checkpoint in August 2006, after hostilities brokeout between Liberation Tigers.

Officials at the reservations offices of the two private air-lines that service Jaffna-Colombo that they will be suspending issueing tickets between the 25th and July 5th.

Passenger ships plying between Kaangkeasanthurai and Trincomalee will be making its last voyage on the 25th from KKS, officials at the port said.

Around 1,000 delegates from SAARC countries, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, and hundreds of journalists are expected to participate in the summit.


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