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     To be an effective instrument to the Government Endeavour to cultivate national harmony in Jaffna Peninsula through uplifting the physical quality of life and spiritual values of the people.

Civil Affairs and Public Relatio

Propagation of Religious Harmony in Jaffna
[Updated :: 2010-06-01 19:21:11 Hours]

Tamil Catholic community in Atchuveli area hereafter will be able to attend the Sunday Mass and other rituals at the Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception since it was vested to Jaffna Catholic Church by the Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna on Monday (31.05.2010) after about twenty years. Jaffna SF Headquarters, honouring equality of all religions in Jaffna, under the guidance of Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe made necessary arrangements to renovate and inaugurate 600 years old Dutch-built church for religious rites with view to pervading way for devotees in the area to continue with their spiritual activities.

The church, best known as St. Mary’s Church, Ottahapulan situated in Palaly – Atchuveli road in the HSZ, had been abandoned due to LTTE activities since 1990. Buildings and most of its parts including the Altar, Holy Cross, statues and the main church hall had badly been damaged and the church
was disappearing in the jungle when a request came to SF-J from the Catholic Church seeking possibilities to reopen it for religious performance.

Honouring the request of the Church,
on instructions of Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, Army troops based in the vicinity renovated the church and brought it back to former condition with great effort under the supervision of Brigadier General Staff SF-J Brig BCJAF Rodrigo, who personally involved in bringing down most needed church equipment statues, furniture and costumes from Colombo.

Reopening was scheduled on the church feast day. During the opening ceremony, SF-Commander handed over the key of the church to Rev. Fr. Dr. Justin B. Gnanapragasam, Vicar General Jaffna who represented Jaffna Bishop. General Officer Commanding 52 Division Brigadier Lal Perera, Brigadier General Staff SF-J Brig. BCJAF Rodrigo and other Senior Officers present made offerings in the process of the mass to church.

Large number of priests, nuns, Army personnel and over 1000 devotees of Catholic faith attended feast mass today.

Religious reawakening, irrespective their beliefs, to heal broken spirits of people in Jaffna which was once a terrain of severe war is one aspect of Civil-Military Coordinating affairs being carried out by the SF-J for public welfare.

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