Timely protest saves church land from police occupation in Mannaar
[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 December 2010, 13:34 GMT]
A demonstration by the Peasaalai church and residents Wednesday morning forced the Sri Lankan police to abandon its attempt to seize the land and construct a police station on the land that belongs to St.Lady of Victory Church in Pesalai in Mannaar district. Large number of people including Parish Priests and Vicar of the church participated in the demonstration that was held for one and a half hours from 7:00 a.m.
On seeing police personnel unloading building materials and other items for the construction of the police station on the church land without the permission of the church authorities around 6 morning Wednesday, the Parish Priest and village leaders started to toll the church bell as a protest to the move by the police.
Large number of devotees rushed to the church and started opposing the police action. Church authorities and the public warned the police that they would take a tough stand if the police disregarded their protest.
The police thereafter abandoned their attempt to construct the police station and withdrew from the site taking all the building materials they brought with them.
Pesalai is located along the main road between Mannaar-Thalaimannaar and comes within the Thalaimannaar police division.
A police sentry has been functioning in Pesalai since 1991 with the strength of 25 personnel close to main business establishments and houses that are currently in the 'custody' of the police.
The attempt to seize the Church land comes while the police had already failedto fullfill the requests from civilians to hand over their business places and houses.