Religious leaders allay villagers' fears

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 September 1999, 15:54 GMT]
Catholic and Buddhist priests visited villages in the borders between Tamil and Sinhala areas today to console residents fearful of attack by other communities in revenge for the Puthukukiyiruppu and Konavila incidents, said sources.

Rt.Rev.Rayappu Joseph Bishop of Mannar, Ven.Siyambalagaswewa Wimalasara Thera, the Chief Sanganayake of the north east in Vavuniya, Fr.T.Navaratnam, Ranjith Abesekera - member of Peace Committee from Colombo were among the peace mission.

Sources said the religious team visited Kela Siyambalewa, Thambennakulama, Veerakpuaram and Periya Ulukulam areas.

The religious leaders assured the villagers that there is no need to live in fear because, every effort had been made by the Sri Lankan authorities to safeguard the border villages.

Ven.Siyambalagaswewa Wimalasara said that the Sinhala villagers were unaware of the Puthukudiyiruppu incident in which Sri Lanka Air Force jets bombed a market killing 22 Tamil civilians.

He further said that the religious leaders explained what had happened Puthukudiyiruppu in the Mullaithivu district and Konavila in Amparai district, where over 50 Sinhala civilians were massacred. The government says the Liberation Tigers carried out the attack in retaliation for the Air Force bombing.

 

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