Bishop wants Madhu as peace zone for feast
An appeal has been made to the Government and the LTTE by Mannar Bishop Rev. Rayappu Joseph to guarantee security and access to the Madhu shrine for devotees to attend the annual feast on August 15.
The Bishop told The Sunday Times he had written to both Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and LTTE political wing head S. Thamilselvam to declare the hallowed shrine area a conflict-free zone and facilitate the movement of the pilgrims by opening the Madhu road.
He said that inviting the devotees from the South for the feast will depend on the reply given by the Government and the LTTE.
The Bishop said the Madhu road needed to be kept open for devotees at least from August 3 up to August 17.
He said devotees have to travel an extra distance to Madhu if they come through Uyilankulam which was very tedious for them and so opening of the Madhu road was very important. He said President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the LTTE had assured him verbally the serenity of the holy shrine would not be disturbed.