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Sunday, 11 January 2009

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A-9 opening pleases Jaffna Bishop

Boost for civilian life:



Rt. Rev. Thomas Savuntharanayagam

The Bishop of Jaffna Rt. Rev. Thomas Savuntharanayagam told the Sunday Observer that he was extremely happy about the opening of the A-9 highway and hoped that the route would now pave way for greater cordiality between North and the South.

Rt. Rev. Savuntharanayagam commenting on the importance of the road said that all these days the innocent civilians suffered terribly due to its closure.

“When I hear the news I felt very happy like any other person in the peninsula. The people in Jaffna underwent untold hardship due to its closure. The prices of essential items had sky rocketed on and off due to fuel prices and the distance.

For medication or examinations the Jaffna civilians had to pay heavily, therefore the opening will be a boost to the Jaffna civilians’, Jaffna Bishop said.

Former Vanni Parliamentarian and PLOTE leader Dharmalingam Sitharthan told Sunday Observer that the route covered a vast area of his electorate and was happy to know that the Forces have now taken full control of the highway.

“The movements of the civilians in Vanni were restricted to a great extent due to the closure of the A-9 route. The highway which was linking the North and South remained a pathway of deaths and destructions for nearly twenty five years. LTTE extorted money from civilians in a big way when the route was opened for a brief period soon after the Ceasefire Agreement of 2002.

Civilians from Jaffna had to buy tickets at exorbitant rates to travel between Colombo and Jaffna either by sea or by air. They did not have an easy access to matters which had to be done in Colombo. Therefore the opening of the A-9 will go a long way in narrowing the gap between the North and South in the future,” Sitharthan said.

 

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