X
UCA News

CHURCH MOURNS POOR FISHERFOLK MURDERED IN TERRORIST ATTACK

Updated: October 10, 1990 05:00 PM GMT
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Share this article :

The bodies of migrant fisherfolk murdered in an attack by Tamil rebels were buried here Sept. 21 in a ceremony led by Archbishop Nicholas Marcus Fernando of Colombo.

The archbishop officiated at the burial after almost 30 Negombo people were killed by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels who attacked the fishing village of Vellamundalama, about 110 kilometers north of Colombo.

Two infants and two pregnant women also died in the Sept. 19 attack.

Auxiliary Bishop Oswald Gomis of Colombo, who spoke at the St. Mary Magdalene Church cemetery burial, said anyone would be shocked at the fate of the victims whose poverty forced them to migrate to support their families.

The bishop reminded parishioners that Jesus was killed by murderers.

"Christ´s victory over death should encourage us to endure sufferings of this nature," Bishop Gomis said.

Father Anthony Fernando, who visited victims at Chilaw Hospital, told journalists that LTTE terrorists who attacked his village last year took supplies and boats and abducted fishermen, but killed no one.

"This time, on the contrary, the terrorists have slaughtered them brutally," Father Fernando said.

Elizabeth, 40, a mother of four, told UCA News how she survived the massacre. An armed group of 50-60 Tamils surrounded about 40 fisherfolk having tea in their "vadiyas" (temporary dwellings) and ordered them out.

Elizabeth hid behind some fishing nets when the others were all taken to nearby St. Joseph´s Church. Then she ran into the forest.

Elizabeth said she saw two children, 11- and 2-years-old. The older child´s head was cut off and the younger child´s eyes gouged out.

The London-based rights group, Amnesty International, charged in a September report that both the LTTE and government security forces are continuing to wage terror campaigns against unarmed civilians.

Recent victims include Christian and Muslim villagers, teenage boys and the families of policemen.

END

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
 
Contribute and get the Mission in Asia PDF Book/e-Book Free!
Contribute and get the Mission in Asia PDF Book/e-Book Free!
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia