"Avoid Madhu church", Bishop pleads

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 March 1999, 16:22 GMT]
The TamilNet's Mannar correspondent spoke to the Bishop of Mannar Rev. Rayappu Joseph about the current situation in Madhu this evening. The Bishop said that he had met the Mannar Brigade Commander Ranjith De Silva this morning and requested him to avoid the precincts of the Madhu Church while conducting military Operations in the area.

He told the TamilNet correspondent that there are more than 30000 people in the general area in to which the SLA moved today.

He said there were about 20000 refugees in the Sub-Open-Refugee-Camps (SORC) in Palampiddy and Thadchanamaruthamadhu and about 10000 refugees in the Madhu ORC.

He added that number of people could be more because of the large number of people who fled Vidathelthievu last week.

Meanwhile the Sri Lankan Army said it brought Periya Pandiviricchaan, Sinna Pandiviricchaan and Palampiddy also under it's control.

Sources in the area were, however unable to confirm whether the local population and the large number of refuges were still in their villages and camps or not.


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