Subdued celebrations mark Christmas in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 December 2007, 00:05 GMT]
Heeding the call from Bishop of Jaffna Rt.Rev.Dr.Thomas Savundranayagam and various religious groups in the North, the christian community and people of other faiths joining the festivities in the peninsula observed very low key Christmas celebrations devoid of the usual pomp and glitter, sources said.

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Palaali High Command had earlier announced the lifting of night time curfew on Monday and Tuesday to allow Jaffna residents to celebrate Christmas and to attend churches.

However, out of fear only a few Christians ventured out Monday night to attend the traditional midnight religious services and the turnout in most churches was very low, church authorities reported.

On Tuesday early morning a larger number of devotees , mostly clad in white to emphasize the need for peace were seen proceeding to attend the morning church services. On both days there were only few civilian movements after 6:00 p.m.

Christmas cribs, pandals and Christmas Trees were significantly missing in response to the call by the Bishop.

Most people spent the day visiting their relatives to reinforce their faith and exchange greetings.

No significant incidences of violence were reported throughout the peninsula, and a general atmosphere of peace prevailed.

Meanwhile, SLA Troopers and Sri Lanka Navy ( SLN) sailors held war rehearsals in Munai and adjoining area in Vadamaraadchi.

However, no clashes were reported in Forward defense Lines (FDL) areas.


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