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
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.