Thousands mourn slain priest in Mannaar
[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 September 2007, 20:51 GMT]
Mannaar city stood at standstill and people flocked to the entrance of the city Thursday at 1:10 p.m. while the remains of Rev. Fr. Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith, the Mannar district coordinator of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), killed allegedly by the Sri Lanka Army Deep Penetration Unit (DPU), reached the city. The reamins were escorted by Mannar Bishop Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph from Vavuniyaa to Bishop's House in Mannaar as thousands mourned along the way from Murungkan to Mannar. The priest was killed Wednesday when he was taking humanitarian supplies to displaced children in Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) controlled areas of Mannar district.
Rev. Fr. Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith's body is kept for the public to pay last respects at Mannaar Bishop's House
Many vehicles joined the 4-hour long parlour from Vavuniyaa to Mannnar.
The 40-year-old priest is well known among the poorest of the district for his tireless humanitarian services. His body is being kept at Bishop's House for the public to pay their last respects. The remains would be taken to St. Sebastian Church from 4:30 p.m. Friday, and the funeral services are scheduled to take place Saturday 9:00 a.m. at the Church.
Mannaar district Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Selvam Adaikkalanathan was present at the Bishop's house to pay last respects to Fr. Ranjith.
Mannaar DS Mrs. Stanley de Mel, Mannar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) H.N. Kudahattiya were present while the remains of the slain priest reached the city today.
Fr. Ranjith, as he was popularly known, is the first Catholic priest to be killed in a Claymore attack in Mannaar district.
Thousands paid their last respects to the slain priest
TNA MP Selvam Adaikkalanathan at Bishop's House