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Road Trip to Jaffna (tips wanted)

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For those of you who are familiar with the road conditions from Colombo to Jaffna, please help.

Towards the tail end of our trip to Sri Lanka in Feb 2013, we are planning a trip to Jaffna for 3 days. Up trip will be by the coastal route (Negombo – Chilaw – Puttalam – Tirukketiswaram – Pooneryn – Jaffna) and down trip by the inland route (Jaffna – Kilinochchi – Vavuniya – Anuradhapura – Puttalam – Chilaw – Negombo); or at least that's the plan.

The Sri Lankan Consulate here (in Canberra) indicates that certain areas in Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu are not accessible due to de-mining activities, also that a permit from the SL Ministry of Defence may be required.

Q: Are we better off taking the coastal routes both ways to avoid the mined areas? Also, if we avoid the two areas mentioned in the consulate website, do we still need a permit (as we have heard conflicting experiences from some who say that the road block guards still demand paperwork and permits)?

Any information from anyone on the ground there would assist us greatly in our planning.

Thanks very much.

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