LTTE urges Norway to take steps to end military assault on Madu shrine

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 April 2008, 15:52 GMT]
Liberation Tigers Political Head B. Nadesan on Monday sent an urgent letter to Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim, placing a request to the Royal Norwegian Government to take steps to immediately end the military assault of the holy Madu shrine in Mannaar district. "The international community together with the international institutions that are concerned about protecting the historical treasures of the world must be brought together and we hope the Royal Norwegian Government together with them will take the necessary actions to end the attacks on the church," Mr. Nadesan urged Norway.

The full text of the letter follows:

Protecting the Madhu church – a revered historical shrine for the entire Tamil nation

LTTE's Political Head B. Nadesan
We write to share with you our view about the zeal exhibited by the Sri Lankan State to destroy the Madhu church, a historically significant shrine revered by the entire Tamil nation.

You are, of course, aware of the Sri Lankan State's year long, large scale military onslaught against us with the view to occupy Vanni. The world is also aware that the Sri Lankan State's military onslaughts are targeting the historical Madhu church in the Mannar district, the western region of Vanni.

The Madhu church is a centuries old shrine revered by the Tamil people of all religions. That is why the Madhu church complex has been a place of refuge for people of all religions. This church has become a symbol of inter religious amity and goodwill among the Tamils.

The Sri Lankan State armed forces have directed their artillery fire incessantly towards this church over the last few weeks. Such a revered church that symbolizes inter religious tolerance was identified as a military target by the Sri Lankan State and it is being subjected to military onslaught. Yet, the international community has failed to stop or even condemn this atrocity. Tamil people are shocked by this silence of the international community.

The Sri Lankan military is using Multi-Barrel-Rocket-Launchers, artillery, mortar, and tanks to assault this holy shrine. Tragically, due to this indiscriminate military assaults, thousands of people who took refuge in the holy shrine complex and the church priests were forced displace from the complex together with the statue of Mother Mary of the Madhu church.

Part of the shrine is already damaged by the Sri Lankan military attacks. There is continued danger that the church will sustain further damage because the Sri Lankan military is persisting with its onslaught.

We would like to place a request through you, who is looked upon by the Tamil people as a peace envoy, to the Royal Norwegian Government to take steps to immediately end the military assault of the holy Madhu shrine.

The international community together with the international institutions that are concerned about protecting the historical treasures of the world must be brought together and we hope the Royal Norwegian Government together with them will take the necessary actions to end the attacks on the church. The Sinhala State, which shows great keenness to protect Buddhist symbols and Buddhist temples, which shows great keenness to build new Buddhist temples in the Tamil areas that they occupy, is also vehement on destroying the religious symbols of other religions, thus hurting the feelings of people who follow other religions.

As far as our movement and our people are concerned we continue to accept the facilitation role of the Royal Norwegian Government. As such we believe that we have a right to place such a request to them.

We, therefore, ask you to urge the Royal Norwegian Government, with the help of the international community to stop the Sri Lankan State's military assault on a revered shrine of the people of Tamil Eelam.


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