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Tamil priest hits out at arrest reports

Media distorted claims he had links to Tiger rebels, Jesuit says

Jesuit Father Paul Satkunanayagam with some children Jesuit Father Paul Satkunanayagam with some children
  • ucanews.com reporter, Colombo
  • Sri Lanka
  • February 16, 2011
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A Tamil Jesuit priest bailed after arrest in Sri Lanka claims local and international media have given distorted news about the incident and his meeting with a Chicago based aid group that runs programs for traumatized children.

Father Paul Satkunanayagam and five others were arrested at a hotel in the city of Dambulla. Local and international media reported he was accused of having had links with Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels and said they were in possession of CDs containing war songs that were sung by LTTE rebels.

“It is not a discussion about LTTE. It’s a total evaluation program about our relief programs for children, with the visiting Heartland Alliance aid group,” said Father Satkunanayagam.

“Heartland Alliance provides a wide array of services to children traumatized by war, the tsunami and natural disasters. They run a three year program for children of which two years is over,” explained Father Satkunanayagam.

According to the priest a group of Heartland Alliance came here to evaluate the program.

He said he and the five others must next appear in court on February 23.

Related report
Sri Lankan priest gets bail
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