Non-availability of helicopters forced the Government to turn down further flights requested by LTTE political wing leader S. P. Thamilselvan, now in the East.
He had made a request to fly from an LTTE-held area in the Batticaloa district to the neighbouring Ampara district for the funeral of ex-TNA MP A. Chandra Nehru. The request to travel from Karadiyanaru (Batticaloa district) to Thirukkovil (Ampara district) was made on Friday. Thereafter the request had been amended to fly yesterday, the date of the funeral of Mr. Nehru.
Air Force officials said their fleet of helicopters were either deployed on other operational tasks or were being serviced after they had flown the stipulated period.