Feb 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka Army on Tuesday opened the Kankasanthurai (KKS) -Point Pedro stretch of the AB21 Jaffna-Ponnalai-Point Pedro Road for public transport nearly 28 years after it was closed during the war in June 1990.
Security Force Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J) amidst cheers of civilians re-opened the main road patch that bypasses the main entrance of the SFHQ-J at Palaly.
President Maithripala Sirisena at a public rally in Jaffna on Monday (05) announced that the road segment will be opened for public immediately as a gesture of ongoing process of reconciliation, ethnic harmony and infrastructure development in the North.
According to the Army, the road cuts across the SFHQ-J cantonment after opening and connects Thondamanaru and other villages and hamlets along both sides of the road. It provides easy access to lands and properties of Jaffna civilians and facilitates more and more commercial transport activities in a wider manner.
Earlier, the civilians had to make a detour around 30 km, avoiding the SFHQ-J cantonment, but the re-opening it for public transport cuts down the duration to less than 45 minutes, the Army said.
Commander, Security Forces – Jaffna (SF-J)Major General Dharshana Hettiarachchi formally informed District Secretary for Jaffna Nagalingam Vedanayagam at a simple ceremony and symbolizing the historic occasion, a state bus, bound for KKS after religious ceremonies left the venue amid cheers and blessings.
The Army said the gesture of goodwill coincides with the government's policy of releasing more and more civil property to legitimate owners after Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, the then Jaffna Commander began the process towards the end of the year 2015.