|Tuesday, 16 July 2002|
Chenkalady - Maha Oya stretch on A5 reopened after 7 years
by Ariyaratne Ganegoda,in Chenkalady
The Chenkalady-Maha Oya stretch of the A5 Kandy-Batticaloa Road which remained closed for the last seven years was re-opened for the public at 10.30 a.m. yesterday. The opening ceremony held at Chenkalady was attended by Consultant, Policy Development and Implementation Ministry and former MP, Ali Zaheer Mowlana on behalf of the Government while LTTE political wing leader in the East Karikalan and Visu represented the LTTE.
Also present on the occasion were Security Forces Commander in the East Maj. Gen. Sunil Tennekoon, Commander 233rd Brigade, Col. Rohan Anthonisz, Batticaloa SP, Lasantha de Silva, former Special Commissioner of the Eravur Pradeshiya Sabha, M. A. C. A. Rahuman and representatives of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and the ICRC. After the opening ceremony Mr. Mowlana and the representatives of the LTTE, the Monitoring Mission, Security Forces and Police and the ICRC walked from the 'Black" Bridge in Trincomalee towards Koduwamaduwa in a symbolic gesture joined by thousands of cheering residents among whom were mothers with children in their arms. The unexpected crowd held up vehicular traffic for nearly four hours.
An officer attached to the Chenkaladi army checkpoint said the road will now be open round the clock and the security forces and the LTTE will only have random checking to ensure the security of the people using the road. He said people in the area especially the farmers would stand to benefit immensely due to the opening of the road as they could now find ready markets for their produce.
A spokeswoman for the Monitoring Mission said the MoU signed between Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe and LTTE leader Prabhakaran had helped to open this road.
The Kaththankudy Bus Depot of the Eastern Bus Company had deployed several buses to Badulla and Bibile yesterday which were jam packed.
Produced by Lake House