SLA allows food convoy after SL President's intervention

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 August 2006, 00:18 GMT]
Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) manning the checkpoint at Mankerni allowed a convoy of lorries carrying dry ration and other food materials to enter the LTTE held Vaharai area at 5:00 p.m. Friday after Sri Lanka's President intervened on the request of TNA parliamentarian, Mr R Sampanthan, civil society sources said. The relief material was intended for distribution among the thousands of internally displaced Tamil civilians who fled from Muthur east and Eachchilampathu division in Trincomalee district following heavy aerial bombardment and artillery by the SLA, sources said.

Meanwhile, Mr. S.Giritharan, Vaharai Divisional Secretary attempted to take a consignment of bread to IDPs Friday morning through Mankerni. But SLA soldiers in the checkpoint refused permission to transport bread.

Later, around 1:00 p.m. a team comprising Batticaloa Additional Government Agent Mr.K.Mahesan, Vaharai DS Mr.Giritharan and representatives of non-governmental organizations, with the facilitation of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), took a food convoy. SLA soldiers refused permission for this convoy also.

Mr.Sampanthan again telephoned President Mahinda Rajapakse about the refusal of the SLA. Later the SLA soldiers at Mankerni allowed to take the convoy inside the LTTE held area.

TNA parliamentarians Mr.P.Ariyanethran and Mr.T.Kanagasabai who followed the food convoy returned to Batticaloa following aerial attack by the Sri Lanka Air Force on LTTE position in Tharavai Friday, sources said.


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