Sri Lanka to open key highway in north

May 21st, 2009 - 12:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, May 21 (Xinhua) The A9 highway linking Jaffna peninsula in north Sri Lanka and the town of Kandy in the centre of the country is likely to be opened to the general public by next week, the government said.
A government statement said Wednesday that the highway, which was closed to the public in 2006 after escalation of the armed conflict between the troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), would be opened once clearance has been received from the defence ministry.

“Plans are afoot to develop and modernise roads in the north and work on some have already commenced,” said the statement, adding that repairs have been completed on 83 km of this 321-km road.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced in the parliament Tuesday that the island’s long drawn-out civil war had ended.

Claiming discrimination at the hands of the successive Sinhalese dominated governments, the LTTE began fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east in the 1980s, resulting in the killing of about 100,000 people before the organisation was totally crushed and its leader V. Prabhakaran killed.

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