Army camps moved out of church land
[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 May 1999, 21:42 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army has moved its camps to a distance of one kilometre from Madhu church land. However, armed soldiers are still deployed within the church land to check civilians who move in and out of the area, said Rev.Fr.Thevasagayam today.
Madhu church Administrators and the Bishop of Mannar have asked the government to move the Sri Lanka army out of the church land.
There have been also a series of protest and prayer-fasts in Madhu church.
"The Army comes to the church and its premises in uniform. Armed soldiers come to the church area to fetch water," Ret. Rev.Fr.Thevasagayam added.
The SLA has said that it will pull out from the church land before the Madhu Feast that falls on July 2 and August 15.
Meanwhile Government officials in Vavuniya said that 226 displaced families who were living in the Madhu Church Open Relief Centre have been brought to Vavuniya over the past week to be resettled in their original villages.
According to them there are 500 families from Vavuniya still to be moved from Madhu.
Plans are underway to move 75 families a day using 5 buses and 10 lorries.
Commenting on the resettlement programme, Fr.Thevasagayam said "the Madhu church area is becoming deserted as the refugees are transported to Vavuniya and Trincomalee."