Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam of Jaffna has appealed to top military in Sri Lanka’s restive north to bring an end to what he described as a wave of terror. At a meeting held in Jaffna secretariat with major general Hathurusinghe, the Jaffna security forces commander, government officials, military commanders, police and clergy of different religions, the prelate said: “Violence has become rife at this stage. I kindly request your immediate action. People are numbed by uncertainty and fear.” It is alleged that government forces are failing to take action against increasing murders, abductions and robberies in the north. Unidentified armed groups roam the region and reports suggest violence prevails. The peninsula is under a military blanket with an estimated 50,000 state troops guarding the area. In response to the bishop, Hathurusinghe pledged that his forces would give full cooperation to bring the situation under control. He had decided to increase patrols and military checkpoints, with 24 hour patrolling. “We will take all possible measures to prevent unauthorized persons carrying arms and ammunition other than security forces and the police,” he promised. Hathurusinghe also promised that no security personnel were involved in anti-social activities though some organized groups were trying to tarnish the image of the security forces and the police. If someone was caught in such activities, he said, he would not hesitate to give the maximum punishment to them. Meanwhile, two students from Mannar Seminary, one an ex-seminarian, have been released from their abductors with the intervention of Father Anthony Victor Sosai, the vicar general of Mannar. SR13007.1638
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