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* Omanthai rail station in Northern Sri Lanka opens after 21 years
Fri, May 27, 2011, 08:55 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 27, Omanthai: Sri Lanka Transport Minister Kumara Welgama this morning declared open the newly built Omanthai railway station and the extension of the Colombo-Kankasanthurai Northern railway track from Thandikulam to Omanthai.

The Omanthai railway station, built at a cost of 8 million rupees, has been renovated with modern facilities. The railway track from Thandikulam to Omanthai has been reconstructed at a cost of 5 million rupees.

Omanthai railway station is a crucial stop in the Northern railway line. Sri Lanka railway renovated the Northern railway line up to Omanthai prior to the Indian government sponsored reconstruction of the track.

Omanthai, around 10 kilometers north from Vavuniya in the Northern Province, was the last stronghold of the Sri Lanka state security forces during the ceasefire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who controlled a huge territory northward from Omanthai up to Pallai in Jaffna district.

The rail track was demolished by the Tamil rebels beyond Thandikulam of Vavuniya and no trains operated beyond Omanthai for decades. The government started the reconstruction of the rail track following the defeat of the Tamil rebels in 2009.

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