Religious leaders meet in Nallur Kandaswamy Temple
[TamilNet, Monday, 24 February 2003, 17:08 GMT]
"It is the duty of the southern religious leaders to organize the
masses in the south to thwart all attempts by the Sinhala hard-line Janata
Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and other forces from derailing the peace
process," said Mr.C.V.K.Sivagnanam, former commissioner of the Jaffna Municipal Council and the President of the Confederation of Jaffna People's Organizations. He was speaking at a prayer meeting in Jaffna in which many inter-religious leaders from South of the island and from the peninsula participated.
Southern religious group led by Ven. Mathampage Assaji Thera, Rev.Fr.Oswald
de Peiris and Moulavi A.M.M.Cassim were received at Sri Lanka Army's (SLA)
checkpoint at Muhamaalai, Monday morning, by representatives of the
Consortium of Jaffna Human Agencies. They were then taken to the Home
for Saiva Children at Kaithady, sources said.
The religious group arrived at the historic Nallur Kandaswamy temple Monday
around four in
the evening carrying the banner, "We should take forward the peace process."
The religious leaders Ven. Assaji Thera, Moulavi Cassim and Bramasiri
Mahesvarakurrukal, President of the Jaffna District Hindu Priests
Association and Re Fr.B.J.Bernard lit the oil lamps in front of the temple.
They then proceeded to the Thirugnanasampanthar Atheenam with oil lamps in
their hands, where a prayer meeting was held, sources said.
Mr.Sivagnanam appealed to the visiting religious leaders to defeat the anti
peace forces in the south to facilitate finding a negotiated
political solution to the ethnic conflict through peace talks now being
held between the United National Front (UNF) government and the LTTE.
He reminded the southern religious leaders that the people of Jaffna
district are completely behind the present peace
process and are extending their wholehearted support to make the
present peace process a success, he added.
Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reconciliation Minister Dr.Jayalath
Jayawardene was seen among the gathering but did not speak. A
titled "Ensure normalcy in Tamils' habitations," was handed
over to him by the Confederation of Jaffna District Peoples Organization
addressed to the Prime Minister, sources said.
"The sad situations of war in the northern region
continue to cause immense suffering to the common people," said