Thousands march for peace in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 March 2000, 12:22 GMT]
More than six thousand people took part in a peace march and rally in Jaffna town today. The March began around 9.30 a.m. this morning from the outer precincts of the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple and wound its way through the town, reaching the Duraiappa Stadium by noon. The peace march and public rally were organised by the People's Council for Peace and Goodwill (PCPG).
Sixty organisations, including student bodies, trade unions, traders' associations and religious groups took part in the peace march and rally. The marchers cried slogans against the war in Tamil and English. Bicycles, lorries and auto rickshaws were in the procession too.
The organisers of the march handed over memoranda to the Jaffna representatives of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations development Program at their local offices which were on the route of the peace march.
The rally at the stadium was addressed by Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Jaffna Rt.Rev.Dr.Thomas Savundranayagam and representatives of other religions. The bishop said that the war should be stopped. He called on behalf of the people of Jaffna for peace through third party mediation.
A memorandum to the Sri Lankan President was handed over to the Jaffna Government Agent by the PCPG.
Rev.Gnanaratna Thero, the incumbent of Nagavihara, the Buddhist temple serving the Sri Lankan security forces in Jaffna town, also appealed for peace and an end to killing. (The Buddhist monk did not taken part in the march).
Mr.M.F Hameed, former member of the Jaffna Municipal Council, addressed the rally on behalf of the Muslims of Jaffna.