Sri Lanka’s Interior Minister visits Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 10 August 2003, 15:26 GMT]
Mr.John Amaratunge, Interior and Christian Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka, Sunday morning arrived at the Palaly military airbase in Jaffna on a goodwill visit, according to ministry sources. The Inspector General of Police, Mr.T.E.Anandarajah, Prisons Commissioner, Mr.M.Marsook, the Interior Ministry’s Secretary, Mr.M.N.Junaid, and several officials accompanied the minister in his first official engagement in the peninsula, district secretariat sources said.

The Minister attended Sunday Mass at the Gurunagar St James Church in Jaffna town. The Bishop of Jaffna, Rt. Rev.Thomas Soundaranayagam, was present at the Mass, sources said.

Thereafter, the Minister visited the Jaffna prison, which is located in a small house on the Third Cross Street close to the St. James Church. The minister was told of the difficulties undergone by the suspects who are in remand in the small building and the urgent need of an updated new building for the prison. At least sixty prisoners are kept daily in the present prison building with great difficulties, sources said

Minister Amaratunge paid a visit to the Jaffna Police Station and held a discussion with the police officials in the district regarding the law and order situation in the peninsula, sources said.

He later inspected the high security zone in the Gurunagar area along with Jaffna's parliamentarian and a Minister in the current Sri lankan government, Mr. T.Maheswaran, and other security and police officials, sources said.

The visiting Minister and his party were scheduled to pay a visit to the historic Nallur Kandasamy temple in Jaffna town in the evening. The annual festival of this temple is in progress now; the chariot festival is to be held on August 26, and the water-cutting festival next day, temple sources said.

 

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