July 30, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan authorities plan to suspend domestic flights to northern Jaffna later this week for the duration of a summit of south Asian leaders in Colombo, a senior government official said. Civil Aviation Authority director general Parakrama Dissanayake said flights by domestic carriers between Colombo and Jaffna have been suspended during August 1-3 for security reasons.
Heads of government from south Asian nations will meet in Colombo during these days for an annual summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation.
Dissanayake told our sister news website vimasuma.com that the domestic flights suspension is being done at the request of the defence authorities.
Two private companies, Expo Aviation and Aero Lanka, have regular flights between Colombo and the Jaffna peninsula, which remains cut off from the mainland as Tamil Tiger rebels control the land route.
Bulk cargo such as food and building material is sent to Jaffna by ship.
Sri Lankan defence forces are on alert for attacks by Tamil Tigers during the south Asian summit.
A heavy security blanket has been imposed on Colombo with several roads being closed and increased checks.