SLA permits conditional worship in St. Mary’s Church in Valikaamam North HSZ
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 June 2010, 04:58 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities in Palaali Military Head Quarters Sunday handed over Oddakappulam St. Mary’s Church located within Valikaamam SLA High Security Zone (HSZ) to the parish priests of the church to conduct services. The permission is given on condition that the devotees should go through the SLA check post to the church in the morning and return in the evening while no one will be allowed to live permanently in the area. There were more SLA officers in the Sunday event held in the said church than civilians, one of the Catholic priests participant said.
The devotees of Oddakappulam St. Mary’s Church have to undergo checking at the SLA check post on Tho’ndaimaanaa’ru-Achchuveali road before proceeding to the church.
SLA which occupies Valikaamam North for the last twenty years adamantly refuses resettlement of the uprooted civilians in their own properties caught within the HSZ now permits festivals to be conducted in the churches and temples therein under certain conditions.
SLA Jaffna Commanding Officer and many others participated in the above event of handing over the church for worship.