SLA refuses to release 6 Catholic priests detained in Vavuniyaa SLA camps

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 June 2009, 19:57 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) High Command rejected a request made by Jaffna Bishop, Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam, to release the six Catholic priests from Vanni held in one of the SLA detention centres in Vavuniyaa as they are suffering from illness, Jaffna Bishop House sources said. The Bishop had made the request to Defence Secretary to allow the six priests to get back to their parishes, the sources added.

Rev. Fr. Francis Gnanarasa Cruz from Mannaar district and Rev. Frs. Edward Selvarajah Mariyarasa, Alfred Vijayakamalan, Anthonipillai Anton Amalraj, Anton Seevan and Edmond Reginald from Jaffna districts are the six Catholic priests detained in the internment camp.

The above priests are in a poor condition of health due to lack of basic facilities and medical treatment.

The priests, who had remained in Puthumaaththa’lan in Vanni with the people until the last, have expressed their desire to remain with the rest of the Vanni civilians despite the hardships, Jaffna Bishop House sources said.

SLA authorities had turned down a similar request to release the Saiva priests held in the SLA detention centres in Jaffna.

 

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