Following the capture of Silavathurai, the government is now considering the opening of a supply route to Jaffna so that essential goods may be transported to the peninsula by road rather than by air and sea as at present, a top defence official said.
He said that, in accordance with the latest proposal, the military was evaluating three major roads that led to Jaffna, but added that all these roads passed through rebel held areas. According to him, the three main supply routes to the Jaffna peninsula were Vavuniya-Jaffna (A-9), Mannar-Pooneryn-Sanguppidi (A-32) and Mullaitivu-Paranthan (A-35). At present all these roads pass through LTTE held areas.
Since August 11, the only major road leading to the Jaffna Peninsula -- the ?Kandy-Jaffna road (A9) -- was closed after the LTTE launched a massive attack on the military at the Muhamalai main entry/exit point.
Since then the government has had to transport essential needs and military hardware by sea or air at a cost of millions of rupees to the government.
However it is not clear which road would be opened to link up the peninsula with the mainland. It is also learnt that discussions are underway regarding this matter on an urgent basis.
Last week the military announced that it had taken over the entire area south of Mannar after launching a lightning military operation and driving the LTTE cadres to the north of Mannar.