Transit clearance arrangements changed

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Any civilians coming from the LTTE controlled Vanni into areas held by the Sri Lankan Army via Uyilankulam will be sent directly to Vavuniya from today rather than having to wait in Mannar for clearance, said Kachcheri sources in Vavuniya.

However, due to a shortage of buses, more than five hundred people waiting to travel to Vavuniya had to be turned back yesterday they said. The army was able to find only a single bus and a lorry to bring civilians to Vavuniya.

The Uyilankulam junction lies six miles west of Mannar.

SLA Brigadier Jayasundara informed the Government Agent of Vavuniya, Mr. Ganesh yesterday that henceforth, persons entering the army controlled area at Uyilankulam heading for Colombo or Vavniya will not be compelled go to Mannar for clearance from the police first.

The same process will operate for those who travel from army controlled areas to those controlled by the Tigers too.

The previous arrangement compelled everyone passing through Uyilankulam to go via Mannar where they had to obtain a travel pass after being interrogated by the police. Many had to wait in Mannar for as long as three months to obtain Police clearance to travel to Vavuniya and beyond.

Between 600 and 2000 persons pass from the army controlled areas to the region controlled by the Tigers and vice versa daily.

Brig. Jayasundera has also told Mr.Ganesh that under the new system, the movement of civilians and vehicles will be allowed daily.

Earlier traffic through Uyilankulam was permitted only on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Furthermore, people who presented themselves at Uyilankulam and obtained security clearance would be allowed to go across on any day.

Formerly, only a limited number of civilians were allowed to pass through the army barrier at the junction.

People sent to Vavuniya directly from the Uyilankulam checkpoint by the army will have to obtain the routine permit to enter and stay in Vavuniya at the Poovarasan kulam SLA barrier.

Meanwhile, lorries that are checked by the SLA, opposite the Mannar post office, will henceforth be checked at Mullippallam junction near the Thallady military camp which is between Uyilankulam and Mannar.

Sources speculated that one reason for the alteration in travel arrangements might be a shortage of Sri Lankan security personnel to administer the Mannar transit locations.


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