Peoples' Committee urges opening of western sea-route to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 01:35 GMT]
Rt. Rev. Thomas Savundranayagam, the Bishop of Jaffna, said that he has requested Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse to open a sea route from Kurrikaduvan in the jaffna Islets to Mannar enabling people to travel to and fro from the peninsula, sources said. Closure of A9-highway has seriously affected the lives of the peninsula residents, the Bishop said in a press meet held by the Peoples' Committee for Peace and Goodwill (PCPG) Sunday around 3:00 p.m at the Jaffna Bishop House.

Prof. P. Balasundarampillai, former Vice Chancellor of Jaffna University and the President of PCPG, S. Paramanathan, the secretary of PCPG were also present.

Sea path to Mannar
Limited space made available to public to travel on ships to Trincomalee from Kankesanthurai, high priced air travel and other inconveniences prompted him to make an urgent request for an alternate travel route, the Bishop said.

807 persons have disappeared in Jaffna peninsula since Mahinda Rajapakse assumed power in December 2005 up to the present according to information from complaints made by people. No information is available about 492 of the missing persons, although some of the rest are held in custody or found dead, the Bishop added.

The International Community should take steps to urge the Sri Lanka government to take prompt and effective measures to address these issues and ensure justice is done, the PCPG panel said.

The PCPG also accused the Sri Lanka government for creating a shortage of news print material in the peninsula with the aim to suppress peoples' right for information and news.

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe during his last visit to Jaffna had promised to send news print according to the request made to him by the PCPG. But the minister has failed to keep his word. The Government has violated right of the public to information, the panel of PCPG said.

The PCPG office bearers also commented on the prices of goods brought in ships to the peninsula being many times higher in comparison for the fixed prices that are in practice in the rest of the country.


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