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A9 kappang highway of the LTTE has turned into military kappang highway

(August 23, Jaffna, Sri Lanka Guardian) The LTTE had its fair share of the criticism for holding the travellers on the A9 highway for ransom when commuters travel between the A9 road to Jaffna it controlled. During the peace time since 2001, A9 road from Omanthai to Elephant pass was a major income earner for the LTTE.

In addition to its check points, Tamils visiting from overseas were taken to its special reception points in Omanthai and Killinochchi and large sums were extracted from them.

Travellers to Jaffna returning overseas since the opening of the A9 road by the government are saying that Indian style corrupt kappang high way is now being operated by the military on the A9 road.

At various military check points the drivers are demanded sums of money by the gun carrying military. The regular drivers are much familiar with the Kappang system operated by the military. They roll sums of money and go behind the vehicle and pass them on to the military men who act as the collectors. With the kappang being passed, the drivers are allowed to move forward without any harassment.

Consequence for non payment is said to very harsh checking of the vehicle and harassment by the military.

By word of mouth, the system in operation is quietly respected by all most all the drivers and they are happy to pass on the due bucks without any fuss and most say they pay due to fear. The most vulnerable are the minibus operators and the private goods Lorries.

According to information, the kappang is said to be paid at least at six check points on the northern A9 stretch.

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