Prayers for the hungry in Vanni
[TamilNet, Sunday, 29 November 1998, 20:56 GMT]
Special services were held today at St.Mary's church in Batticaloa town, and at St.Anne's church in the suburb of Veechchukkalmunai, for the people of the Vanni affected by the severe food restrictions.
A large number of people prayed and fasted during the day, contributing a day's earning for sending assistance to the people of the Vanni.
Two teachers from the Vanni, who are currently in Batticaloa, spoke at the churches about the near famine conditions in the north.
Many Hindus also took part in the special service to pray for the well being of the people of the Vanni.
Students of the Batticaloa university boycotted lectures on Friday, demanding among other things that: the embargo be lifted and food be sent immediately to the Vanni, that all the schools in that region should be reopened forthwith, that the war against the Tamil people should be stopped immediately and, that the safety of the Eastern university students should be ensured.
They sent a memorandum to the Sri Lankan president with their demands through the Batticaloa Red Cross Society.
Ex-Tamil militant sources, working with the SLA in the eastern town, said that the public is becoming increasingly concerned about the deteriorating conditions in the Vanni. Civilians are mobilising around the issue to do whatever they can in their capacity to send assistance, they added.