Bishop in Sri Lanka gives account of people’s trauma
In an emotional message to Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam of Jaffna describes the ordeal people suffered as the final battle raged between the Sri Lankan government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Tamil Tigers.
The bishop, who in January went undercover to deliver aid in the conflict zone, claims that in the final battle ending on May 19th, 20,000 people died and 40,000 were injured as a “small space of land” fell victim to heavy artillery and shell fire.
He described how he had begged rebel Tamil Tiger leaders to allow people trapped close to the battle zone to be given safe passage to a place of sanctuary in government-held territory. Sadly, his pleas were to no avail.
The bishop also described how the priests in Kilinochy and Mullaitivu are now trying to assist civilian refugees in the nearby town of Vavuniya. The priests, he explained, organize Mass on Sundays in the camps, carry out family visits and give away food supplies.