Pope’s emissary meets detained IDPs in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Monday, 09 February 2009, 10:25 GMT]
Internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing war and detained by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Kurunakar and Koappaay refugee camps pleaded Pope’s emissary, Rt. Rev. Mario Senario to get them permission to live and engage in their customary occupations, when he personally met them in the said camps, sources in Jaffna said. Bishop Mario Senario who conducted a special mass Sunday at 7:30 a.m in St. Mary’s church in Jaffna at the end of the mass said that he would convey in detail the plight of the Tamils caught in the war in Vanni to the Holy See.
Jaffna Bishop, Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam, Rev. S. A. Roshan, Secretary of Jaffna Bishop and Rev. Michael Saundaranayagam joined Bishop Mario Senario in conducting the special mass for the safety and interests of the people undergoing terrible suffering in Vanni.
Around 10:30 a.m Rt. Rev. Mario Senario accompanied by Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam and Rev. S. A. Roshan met the IDPs located in the building complex of the old Jaffna High Court in Kurunakar.
The IDPs detained in the above special rehabilitation camp appealed to Pope’s emissary to secure permission for them to get back to their villages and to engage in their livelihoods.
SLA in Jaffna had allowed only the above three religious dignitaries to enter the above camp in Kurunakar.
The three religious dignitaries visited the IDPs detained in Koappaay Teachers’ Training College hostel around 4:30 p.m where the IDPs who are mostly Catholics appealed to the Pope’s emissary to help get them permission to get back to their villages.
The IDPs complained that they are not allowed to leave the detention camp.
The Commission for Peace and Justice of Catholic Diocese (CJPCD) in Jaffna met Bishop Mario Senario in Jaffna Bishop’s house Sunday around 5:00 p.m.
Former Vice-chancellor of Jaffna University, Prof. P. Balasuntharampillai and S. Paramanathan took part in this meeting.
Bishop Mario Senario, speaking at the end of the special mass said that he fully understands the sentiments of Jaffna peninsula people and their hunger strike to draw the attention of the global community to the humanitarian disaster in Vanni.
He assured that he would convey the plight of the Tamils caught in the war in Vanni to the Holy See in Vatican and that he would submit a detailed report of the situation in Vanni.