SLN imposes restrictions on Catholic devotees in Chaaddi, Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 September 2008, 15:59 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) in Allaippiddi has instructed the Catholic devotees attending the annual festival of Our Lady of Chinthaaththirai in Chaaddi, Veala'nai, in the islets of Jaffna and popularly known as Chinna Madu Maathaa (The little Mother Mary of Madu), to hand over their identity cards at their checkpost in Allaippiddi before entering the Church premises.

The coastal area surrounding the church, has been declared as Top Security Area of the SLN (not the High Security Zone referred by the SLA) during the recent years. Persons from places outside the islets of Jaffna are subjected to severe checking and interrogation at the Allaippiddi SLN check post where they have to hand over their National Identity Cards before proceeding further. Many civilians have complained that they were kept for hours at the checkpost. In the meantime, Kurunakar Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Sagayanayagam, in a media release, instructed the devotees to also carry photocopies of their identity cards for their own safety and to avoid getting into trouble. Rev. Fr. Sagayanayagam, in the media release, also advised the devotees to remember the details such as the serial number as they may have to undergo further checking in other SLN check posts on the way to the church. The annual festival which began on 11th September will end on 20th Saturday with the final day Holy Sacrament service and ceremony. The annual festival, which draws thousands of devotees from the various parts of the peninsula, is likely to be attended by less number of devotees this year due to the restrictions, Catholic priests in the peninsula said.

 

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