|Pope thanked for role in return of Madhu Statue|
|Thursday, 14 August 2008|
Sri Lankan expatriates numbering more than 80,000 living in Italy, predominantly of the Catholic faith, have expressed their gratitude and sincere thanks to his holiness Pope Benedict XVI for doing everything within his means to bring back the statue of Our Lady of Madhu to the Holy Madhu church.Bishop of Mannar, Rt. Rev Rayappu Joseph had earlier taken it deep behind the LTTE frontline west of the A9 road. The Bishop removed the statue when fighting erupted in the vicinity of the Madhu shrine between the security forces and the LTTE.
The LTTE, while behind driven away from the area, shelled the shrine revered by all communities in the country and caused much damage. The Army's engineering unit subsequently repaired all damage and handed the church back to Rev. Joseph.
In a petition handed over to His Holiness Benedict XVI by the Joint Sri Lankan Association also made a plea from His Holiness Pope to prohibit the LTTE terrorists from using places of worship and venerated religious symbols as shields to achieve their political and military objectives.
"We wish to inform Your Holiness that the Church of Madhu and its surrounding area had been used by the LTTE for its terrorist to advance in its guerilla warfare. In fact, the vicinity of the Church had been sown with mines, laid with pressure bombs and constructed bunkers, to advance in the LTTE guerilla warfare," the organizers said in their petition.
"Fortunately, the Government of Sri Lanka and its Defense Forces have removed all of these war preparations made by the LTTE, and the Church of Madhu has been completely renovated. In this process, some of the members of the armed forces have paid a high price and some have sustained injuries. We wish to record our gratitude to H.E. the President of Sri Lanka and to the Sri Lankan Defense Forces for converting this region towards civil administration."
(Courtesy : Department of Information )
|Last Updated ( Monday, 09 March 2009 )|
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