Pope's envoy, US Embassy Officials visit Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 December 2006, 00:15 GMT]
The resident representative of Vatican to Sri Lanka, Rev. Mario Zanari, visited Jaffna Wednesday to observe the prevailing situation in the Peninsula and the hardships faced by the people in the aftermath of the closure of A-9 road in August, Bishop's house sources said. Four Officials from the US Embassy in Colombo also arrived in Jaffna for a fact-finding mission.

Rev. Mario Zanari who is also a special envoy to the Pope, came to Jaffna on a flight organized by UNHCR, and had discussion with Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam, the Bishop of Jaffna district, and other Parish priests.

He also discussed the case of Rev. Jim Brown of Allaippiddy who disappeared along with his aide after being interrogated by the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) in August, the sources further said. Rev. Zanari is planning to highlight the lack of progress on the investigations on the disappearance to his higher authorities, sources associated with this visit said.

This is his first visit after the closure of A-9 road. Mr Zanari is expected to meet the other civil leaders in the next few days.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the USA embassy in Colombo arrived to Jaffna on Tuesday on a fact-finding mission, reliable sources said. The four-member team met a number of civil society leaders and held discussions. However, all details of the visit were kept confidential.

Their visit is followed by the visit of ambassadors from Switzerland and Australia in November.

Extra judicial killings in Jaffna Peninsula are still continuing amidst visits of diplomats and dignitaries, civil society sources said.

A youth riding a motorbike was shot dead along Kondavil- Irupalai road in Kopay in Valikamam region around 5:30 pm Tuesday. The dead youth was identified as Kurunathan Mathan, 26, of Kaddaippirai, Kopay North. He was going to the Paliniyandavar Kovil for prayers in a motorbike when unidentified gunmen stopped and shot him, his relatives said. The motive of the killing is yet to be known.

 

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