STF cancels ferry service Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Special Task Force (STF) has ordered to cancel a ferry service in the Batticaloa district until further notice, in a bid to curb the movement of civilians between LTTE controlled areas and villages which lie on the Batticaloa - Kalmunai road, which are controlled by the Sri Lankan government troops.

The STF at the 'Kurukkal Madam Camp' has asked the ferry contractor to leave the engine of the wooden barge, which transports people and vehicles across the lagoon with them.

The ferry service will be cancelled from Monday.

The ferry runs between the main road along the coast south of the Batticaloa town and the vast western hinterland of the district which is under LTTE's control at Ambilanthurai.

A large number of government servants, farmers, schoolchildren and businessmen will be affected by the STF action.

The ferry serves the large villages of Abilanthurai, Kadukkamunai and Pattipalai where the Divisional secretary's office is located.

Checking at the other entry points to the western hinterland has increased with the approach of the Maveerar week said residents.

Civilians are sometimes beaten up at the Paddiruppu bridge further south of Ambilanthurai and at the Manmunaithurai ferry six miles south west of Batticaloa town all vehicle owners travelling to Tiger controlled Kokkaddicholai and other villages are asked by the STF, which is camped there, to surrender their driving licence and vehicle insurance.

These can be collected only when the vehicle returns.

Large vehicles are generally banned from entering the western hinterland.

Vehicle owner who go through Manmunai are compelled as a result to return via the same point to collect their documents.

This causes a lot of inconvenience they say.


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