ICRC ship aborts Jaffna trip

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 May 2000, 09:23 GMT]
'Java Gulf', the vessel operated by the International Committee of the Red Cross to the embattled Jaffna peninsula will be returning to Trincomalee port later Friday afternoon because the ICRC was "unable, at the final moment, to secure agreement with the Sri Lankan security forces and the Liberation Tigers regarding the port of disembarkation" a spokesman for the organisation said.

The ICRC ship set sail from the Trincomalee port on Wednesday May 24 for the northern peninsula where the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the LTTE have been engaged in heavy fighting for several weeks.

Meanwhile, the Trincomalee Divisional Secretary said that the 'City of Trinco' the passenger ship which was scheduled to sail to Jaffna Friday morning with 350 passengers was cancelled again due to security reasons.

The 'City of Trinco' was earlier scheduled to leave for the Kankesanthurai harbour in Jaffna on May 19 but was cancelled by Sri Lankan Navy citing "security reasons".

The Kankesanthurai harbour in the Sri Lanka Army's sprawling military base complex in the northern sector of the Jaffna peninsula has been under artillery attack by the LTTE since May 19.

The port and the airstrip at Palali are the sole supply points for the SLA in Jaffna.


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