The military has requested the ICRC to hold talks with the LTTE and reopen the Omanthai entry/exit point soon, since thousands of people were facing hardship due to Thursday`s move following heavy mortar attacks by the LTTE.
`We are ready to re-open the checkpoint, but we can`t do it until ICRC agrees. Therefore we asked ICRC to take up the matter with the Tigers as thousands of people are suffering` military Spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe told the Daily Mirror yesterday.
`Tigers appear to be to deliberately doing this to stop the civilian movement. Because of the road closure, a large number of lorries carrying essential items have been stranded at the checkpoint,` he added.
Meanwhile, the ICRC urged both the military and the LTTE to guarantee the security at the Omanthai checkpoint to facilitate free civilian movement.
`Discussions are underway with both parties on finding ways to resolve the issue which is creating a major problem,` ICRC spokesman Davide Vignati said.
The military spokesman said the Uilankulam entry/exit point was also still closed due to Tigers mortar attacks. `We can not open that checkpoint too due to Tiger mortar attacks,` Brig Samarasinghe said.
On Thursday morning, the ICRC temporarily withdrew from the Omanthai entry and exit point following heavy shelling in the vicinity.