Traders of Sri Lanka seek freedom for trade to and from Jaffna

(July 19,2009) The traders of Sri Lanka seek freedom for trade to and from Jaffna peninsula. They point out that the producers as well as the consumers may benefit if the high transport cost can be reduced.The licensed lorries that transport between Jaffna and Colombo levy high charges. For instance, the transport charge of a 15 ton lorry is over Rs. 130,000 and the Jaffna - Colombo traders say this can be reduced to Rs. 75,000 if their lorries are given permits.

The government has provided limited access to the A-9 highway from Vavuniya to Jaffna after clearing the Vanni areas from the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The lorries to and from Jaffna are unloaded and checked at Omanthai check point and the operation costs tens of thousands of loading and unloading costs per a lorry. Further, it takes hours for a lorry to be unloaded, checked and reloaded.

All private vehicles from Northern Province are banned entry to the Southern areas of the country beyond Medawachchiya checkpoint in Anuradhapura district. The traders have to change lorries from there.


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