Sri Lanka military gains full control of highway to Jaffna: President

Jan 09, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s military has gained full control of a strategic highway linking the northern Jaffna peninsular with the south of the country after 23 years, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a nation-wide television address. Point Pedro is the northernmost point of the island, and Dondra Head the southernmost point.

Education minister Susil Premjayanth told state TV that the opening of the A-9 highway will ease military logistics and lower the cost of goods in the Jaffna peninsular.

No date has yet been announced for the opening of the road. “Today our victorious war heroes have achieved a singular and historic victory,” President Rajapaksa said.

“This afternoon the military has gained full control of the Elephant Pass area.”

A military complex at Elephant Pass, a narrow neck of land connecting the Jaffna Peninsular with the rest of the island fell to the Tamil Tigers nine years ago.

Jaffna and the rest of the island is connected through the so-called ‘Wanni’ region via a highway known as A-9.

The Wanni region was under the control of Tamil Tigers, but over the last two years, they have been confined into the northeastern Mullaithivu region.

President Rajapaksa said the Tigers used to lev