*Twenty buses carrying 400 troops
commenced their journey through the newly liberated area of the A-9 road
*Another historic occasion in two and
half year humanitarian operation
Security Forces marked yet another historic occasion in their two and
half year humanitarian operation, opening the Jaffna-Kandy A-9 road for
troop movement after 24 years with 400 troops from Jaffna reaching
Anuradhapura and another 400 troops from Anuradhapura reaching Jaffna
along the A-9 road.
Twenty buses carrying 400 troops commenced their journey through the
newly liberated area of the A-9 road at 9.04 am after an official
function at Elephant Pass with the participation of Jaffna Security
Forces Commander Major General Mendaka Samarasinghe and other high
ranking officials of the Security Forces in Jaffna.
Parallel to this ceremony, another 400 troops reporting back to duty
in Jaffna commenced their journey from Anuradhapura officially launching
this troop movement mission after participating in an official function
with the participation of Vanni Security Forces Commander Major General
Jagath Jayasuriya. The Maha Sangha blessed the troops at Elephant Pass
and Omantai before troop movement commenced.
“With the commencement of this troop movement mission, the Sri Lanka
Army will make use of the A-9 road for troop movements to and from
Jaffna peninsula,” Major General Mendaka Samarasinghe said.
Although the A-9 road was fully liberated in January this year with
the capture of Elephant Pass on January 9, the road was not used for
troop movement until the Security Forces had given full security
“The Sri Lanka Army will greatly benefit from this move as we can
save the number of days taken for soldiers going on leave and reporting
back for duty in Jaffna by sea or air as they have to stay for more than
one week at Transit camps,” General Officer Commanding the 55 Division
Brigadier Prasanna Silva told the Daily News.
“It is a great relief for the troops as they can avoid the long
delays when going on leave and reporting back for duty,” the Brigadier
added. Earlier, the Army troops used the Jetliner for their troop
movement between Jaffna and Trincomalee by sea and aircraft from Palaly
With the commencement of this troop movement mission, the
Jaffna-Kandy A-9 road will become the lifeline between the Jaffna
peninsula and the South for the Security Forces and the road will also
be opened for the civilian movement to and from Jaffna.
“We are hoping to open the A-9 road for civilian movement possibly by
April,” a senior military official told the Daily News. During a major
period of the last two and a half decades, transportation of both men
and material to Jaffna peninsula had taken place using sea and air
routes, which is costly.
However the Kandy-Jaffna A-9 road remained open for civilian
transport for a brief period prior to 2006, during the Cease Fire
Agreement (CFA). After the CFA collapsed in 2006, once again the main
land based link between Jaffna and the rest of the country remained
closed for traffic.
According to Media Centre for National Security Director Lakshman
Hulugalle the re-opening of A - 9, would pave the way for a sharp
reduction in transport expenses in moving military and civilian supplies
to the Jaffna peninsula.
Thus the opening of the overland route is expected to bring down the
cost of living in the Jaffna peninsula drastically and also help Jaffna
farmers to send their products to Colombo through cheaper means.
It is also expected to bring down the travel costs of passengers who
earlier paid exorbitant sums to secure transport through air and sea
routes, to reach Colombo and other areas in the South.