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Sri Lanka: Ground View Dec 2007

Sri Lanka
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Mangalanath Liyanarachchi - Trincomalee

The border, which separates the North from the South at Vavuniya, is a decisive landmark of a merciless twenty five year old war. The people of the North have to stake their lives everyday to cross over an immense, body of water to reach Trincomalee, the only gate-way to the outside world.

The danger lies in crossing the dreaded sea tiger base under the escort of security provided by the Navy, who are targeted by the Tigers.

Once the Ceasefire Agreement collapsed and the war resumed, the only connection the people in the North had with the South was also severed.

The ship to Trincomalee and a land route from there to other parts of the island, was the only alternative for civilians arriving from the North.

With the signing of the CFA , the A-9 road was opened and the passenger ship operated by the Red Cross Organisation was suspended. With the recent outbreak of the war the northern civilians lost their land route and the passenger ship service.

It was the Sri Lanka Navy which came to the rescue of the civilians.

They began transporting civilians in view of humanitarian issues and because Non- Governmental Organiations were reluctant to take on this responsibility.

This journey which is operated along the coast of the Mullativu Chale coast line which is considered to be the most dangerous base of the sea tigers is one of the most perilous sea journeys.