Sri Lanka resumes rail link to former rebel town

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 14, 2013 07:00 hrs

Colombo, Sep 14 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government Saturday resumed railway services after six years between the capital and a town devastated by the civil war, officials said.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa launched the train service linking capital Colombo to Kilinochchi town, reported Xinhua.

Kilinochchi was the de-facto capital of the rebels during the war.

Rebel leaders operated from the area and taxed goods being transported along the road via the rebel town.

During the Sri Lankan civil war, the railway line between Colombo and the town of Jaffna, including Kilinochchi, was completely damaged.

Following the truce with Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009, the railway track between Colombo and Omanthai, also in the north, was reconstructed with Indian assistance and now it has been extended to Kilinochchi.

Next, reconstruction of the railway track would be extended to Jaffna to re-link the north and the south by rail network.

The opening of the railway route comes as the minority Tamil, who dominate the north, prepare to go to the polls this month for the first time in more than 20 years to elect a provincial council.

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