An indefinite travel ban has been imposed on foreign passport holders including tourists, restricting their access to the Northern province concurrent to a visit by President Rajapaksa in the area.
Military officials have stated the travel ban was imposed in the ‘national interest’ and among those who had been inconvenienced by the travel restrictions had been those of Sri Lankan origin who were attending weddings, funerals and religious rituals in Jaffna.
Even those who have been granted official permission to visit the area including diplomats and foreign nationals engaged in development projects in the North had not been allowed to proceed from Omanthai onwards.
President Rajapaksa is in Jaffna on a three-day visit for the reopening of a railway line to Jaffna. He is also due to award over 20,000 land permits to families in the area during an event today. This underhand motive of this visit seems to be to prep-up the area and boost Rajapaksa’s image among the residents of the province before the upcoming Presdential election.