Good friday plea for Madhu church

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 April 1999, 12:46 GMT]
The Bishop of Mannar, Rt.Rev.Raayappu Joseph, told Mr.Jeyaraj Fernandopillai, Sri Lanka's Minister for Plan Implementation and Parliamentary Affairs, who was on a visit to Madhu today that the SLA should immediately stop moving about the holy precincts of the church.

Mr.Fernandopillai was in Madhu today for Good Friday mass.

Rev.Raayappu reiterated his position during the discussion with the government minister that the sacred grounds of the Madhu church and its environs should be respected by all parties to the conflict.

The Bishop told the minister that the army is yet to heed the pleas of the church.

Rev.Raayappu had also pointed out that the Liberation Tigers had respected the holy precincts of the church when the area was controlled by them. The Bishop told the minister that the Tigers demolished a shop which they were building in the church precincts when he had strongly objected to it and brought the matter to the notice of the organisation's leadership.

Meanwhile, Catholic church sources in Colombo expressed revulsion at PA posters that came up in the capital and many parts of the western province this week. The posters portray the Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike, as the Liberator of the Madhu Church. The election campaign poster is designed to woo catholic voters. It shows a beaming President and the Madhu Church in the background.

"This is a cheap publicity gimmick" fumed a senior official of the church in Colombo.

The government thinks that the catholic vote in the western province can play a crucial role in deciding the outcome of the provincial elections on April 6.

 

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