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Peace Zone proposed for Madhu

COLOMBO: The possibility of setting up a ‘Peace Zone’ within the precincts of Madhu Church and the surrounding region, has been discussed when President Mahinda Rajapaksa met some of the Catholic Bishops at Temple Trees yesterday.

President Rajapaksa met the Archbishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Oswald Gomis, the Bishop of Mannar Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph and the Bishop of Chilaw Rt. Rev. Valence Mendis.

President Rajapaksa recalling his commitment and efforts on the provision of adequate facilities to Madhu Pilgrims from the time he was a Minister, assured the Bishops on arranging and establishing a peaceful and secure environment in which the Catholic devotees who visit the Madhu church could freely engage in their religious activities and rituals sans any hindrance.

The President conveyed to the Bishops the discussions he had with the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisco Bertone during his visit to the Vatican recently, pertaining to the security and the facilities available for the Madhu pilgrims.

President Rajapaksa had brought to the attention of the Bishops the measures taken by the Government to uplift the living standards of the civilians in the North and East, and the re-settlement programmes adopted by the Government.

In the course of cordial discussions, President Rajapaksa had requested the Bishops to pay a visit to the North and the East, in order to see for themselves the development and re-settlement activities already underway.

The President had also briefed the Bishops on the proposals put forward by the SLFP to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC), based on the devolution of power.

He had pointed out the snags and the pitfalls in the present Provincial Council Administration system wherein the people were subjected to various difficulties and therefore proposed the District Council system instead.

The President has added that these SLFP proposals will now be forwarded to the APRC for amendments if necessary and thereafter reach a final decision which can be accepted by all parties.

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