The people from Jaffna face interference by the troops in their family affairs, as such the fear-psychosis which usually prevails among the Jaffna residents has not declined,
Sri Lanka troops have been poking their noses into the family and social issues of the people of the Jaffna peninsula, said Father Paul Natchchaththiram to the muti – religious team that had visited Jaffna.
The people from Jaffna face interference by the troops in their family affairs, as such the fear-psychosis which usually prevails among the Jaffna residents has not declined, Father Paul complained to the multi religious team.
A multi – Religious Team lead by most rev. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith visited Jaffna to see for themselves the situation in the North. They went to Vanni and then to Jaffna.
A meeting between this team and the multi religious team from Jaffna, took place at the Rimmer centre in the middle of the town. The situation in the Jaffna district after the end of the war was explained to the visitors form Colombo.
Father Paul Natchchaththiram explaining the Situation in the North at the discussion said ‘peace is not merely observing silence; it should really be felt in the human minds. Wherever peace prevails, unity and one mindedness follow. There will be no fear, but even after 1 ½ years after the war, the people of the North are still living in a state of fear.
He further elaborated that the interference of the soldiers in the family and social issues of the people of the Jaffna peninsula is the reason for this fear situation, he pointed out as an example. When there is fear, truth, justice and understanding will be missing he added.
Father C. J. Jaikumar from the St. Mary’s church in KKS, said that though it was said that the peace prevailed in the country, the people of the North did not think so, they have not enjoyed the fruit of peace, he added.
He pointed out that even after the peace had come to the country there are more than 400 people in Mandaithivu who are unable to get resettled in their own places.
Suspicion arose in the case of death of a young teacher recently, but no one was arrested. On the other hand there are many who are held up in detention camps without trial. Some of them had died all of a sudden and no reasons are given for this. How can the Tamil people feel or taste peace in such a situation, he questioned. He also mentioned that the religion of Buddhism can do a lot in building up an understanding between the Sinhalese and the Tamils.
A Buddhist monk replying to that said that the war was going on for more than 30 years and you can not expect everything to be all right in just 24 hours.
The Multi-Religious Team, after listening to the above statements openly stated that they are able to identify the problems faced by the people, but are unable to bring a solution.
The Multi-Religious Team that visited the North was lead by most rev. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and comprised of Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Christian representatives and included apart from Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. Kottawa Dharmalankara thero, Brahmasri Ramachandra Kurukkal, Moulavi Aadham Bawa. The team visited several areas in the peninsula and had discussion with various parties including the Jafffna bishop, representatives of civil organizations and members of the business community.
The team also visited the civil administration offices of the army and also paid a visit to the Naga Vihara and met the Buddhist monks there.
The representatives of the various organizations who met the multi-religious team alleged that the government had given several assurances in regard to various development activities but not even the initial steps had been taken in all such activities.
Foundation stones for road projects were laid by the ministers and the presidents son, or the siblings of the president or the president himself and every thing comes to a stand still after that. The government has not initiated any development activity in the Jaffna peninsula, but makes only announcements to deceive the international community, the representatives of the civil organizations lashed out.
It was only after listening to the above allegations that the multi-religious team agreed that it was not in a position to find a solution to the problems faced by the people of the north, although they were able to understand and identify their problems.
However as religious dignitaries, they said that they were in a position to identify the needs of the people and gather information pertaining to the above needs and submit the information so gathered to the relevant authorities. But the team accepted the fact that they are unable to bring any anticipated changes.