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Sri Lankan priest gets bail

Jesuit is accused of having links to Tamil rebels

  • ucanews.com reporter, Colombo
  • Sri Lanka
  • February 11, 2011
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A Tamil Jesuit priest accused of having had links with Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels has been freed on bail after a court hearing yesterday.

Father Paul Satkunanayagam and five other people were arrested at a hotel in the city of Dambulla, 264 kilometers north east of Colombo on February 9.

According to hotel sources six American NGO workers had come to the hotel before the arrests to obtain details from the priest about the current flood situation in the eastern part of the country.

Media reports said the priest and the five others arrested were allegedly in possession of CDs containing war songs that were sung by LTTE rebels.

None of the Americans were among those arrested.

Father Satkunanayagam was to meet the Bishop of Batticaloa and later make a press statement, according to Trincomalee-Batticaloa diocese spokesman, Father Joe Mary.

“Father Satkunanayagam works at a NGO in Batticaloa and offers counseling there, Father Mary said

“Most media outlets have been given false information about the priest,” he added.

Father Satkunanayagam is being investigated by the Security Intelligent Service and Criminal Investigation Division (CID) who probe alleged Tamil rebel activities.

Father Paul Satkunayagam, who is in his 70s and is not keeping good health, is a well-known priest in Batticaloa. He studied in the United States at Loyola University in Chicago, where he obtained a doctorate in Psychology.

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