Let Lankan pilgrims visit Velankanni - Jaffna Bishop

28 February 2013 04:04 am - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Rt Rev Dr Thomas Savundaranayagam, the Bishop of Jaffna, has strongly criticised attempts by several Tamil nationalist groups in Tamil Nadu at preventing Sri Lankan pilgrims from visiting Catholic shrines in that State.

Asked to comment on the incident last Sunday when the Tamil Nadu police turned back 70 Lankan pilgrims even before they reached the Annai Velankanni shrine fearing violence by Tamil nationalist groups, Dr Savundaranayagam said that pilgrims “should not be stopped at all”.

“Lankan Catholics, whether Tamil or Sinhalese, are very much devoted to Annai Velankanni. They make vows to the deity. They should not be prevented from fulfilling their vows,” he told Express on Wednesday.

Violation of Rights

Fr Cyril Gamini, spokesman of the acting Bishop of Colombo, Fr Emmanuel Fernando, said that stopping pilgrims from going to a place of worship was an “undemocratic act and a violation of a human right”.

“One of the yardsticks for judging the state of democracy and human rights in a country is the existence or non-existence of the freedom of worship for all communities,” he explained.

“While we do not believe that the government of Tamil Nadu is behind these acts of violence, it is responsible for giving protection to pilgrims. After all, pilgrims do not go to Tamil Nadu for any purpose other than offering worship at its shrines,” Fr Gamini said.

Asked if such incidents would prevent Lankans from visiting shrines in Tamil Nadu, he said that they would not. “The incidents have been sporadic. Our people have been going despite past incidents of violence and will continue to go,” he affirmed. (New Indian express)
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  Comments - 7

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  • mack Thursday, 28 February 2013 12:00 AM

    I have being to Velankani five times in the past I never faced any hostility.people in Tamil Nadu are now hostile coz the theres no clear salutations towards the Tamil issue from GOSL via DM Android App

    Elakiri Thursday, 28 February 2013 12:00 AM

    #ayyosalli via DM Android App

    MagodisThuma Thursday, 28 February 2013 05:21 AM

    God can make Miracles !

    ANTON Thursday, 28 February 2013 05:59 AM

    Your holiness, Tamil Nadu pro LTTERS are not devoted to any religion except devil.

    Tube Light Thursday, 28 February 2013 05:39 PM

    My Lord, does your brethren in Mannar share your views?

    CW Thursday, 28 February 2013 06:15 AM

    Rev. Reap what you sow. When you spread venom against the SL govt you never thought about these LTTE sympathisers, ha?

    MagodisThuma Thursday, 28 February 2013 06:30 AM

    Dear God..." SAVE ME FROM YOUR FOLLOWERS "...Amen !


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