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A9 highway to be opened soon

[Hindu, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:36 No Comment]

The A9 Highway, the only land route linking Jaffna peninsula to the rest of Sri Lanka, is to be opened shortly for commercial use by private traders. The peninsula is home to an estimated six lakh people.

The A9 Highway was closed at the Omanthai checkpoint in the second week of August 2006,within days of the commencement of Eelam War IV, by the government on the ground that it had become a cash cow for the LTTE to sustain its war machinery.

The highway was opened in February for military use. The military gained total control of the A9 highway after ousting the LTTE from Elephant Pass and Muhamalai in January.

Shortage

With the closure of the A9, people in the Jaffna peninsula experienced serious shortage of essential commodities and were compelled to pay exorbitant rates for goods as they could be transported to Jaffna only by the air or sea route.

Opening of the A9 is a chance for economic revival, with produce of Jaffna farmers reaching the south and goods from the south reaching the north.

Separately, the Indian medical team, based till recently in Pulmoddai in the east, has relocated its Emergency Medical Unit and Field Hospital to Zone-1 of the IDP settlement in the Manik Farm area in Vavuniya district and has started its services.

[Full Coverage]

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