B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan military and the LTTE on Friday accused each other of converting the Madu church premises in Mannar “into a war zone” amid the Bishop of Mannar’s disclosure that he had instructed the priests to move out of the church along with statue of “Our Lady.”

A Defence Ministry statement claimed that three surrendered LTTE cadres had confessed that three bands of the LTTE cadres known as Malthi, Radha, and Charles Anthony were presently “occupying the sacred Madu church premises.”

It said the cadres surrendered due to the “unbearable harassment” at the hands of senior cadres. They had been forcibly recruited into the armed mob called “police” of LTTE in 2007, and were deployed south of Madu after a few days of training.

In a report on its website, the LTTE alleged that the armed forces by their indiscriminate attacks were converting the Madu Church, the holy shrine of the Catholic people, into a “war zone.”

Claim on killing

A report of the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) (UTHR-J) has alleged that state security personnel are responsible for the summary executions of 17 Action Contre la Faim (ACF) aid workers in Mutur, Sri Lanka on 4 August 2006.

The 29-page report details the grisly killings, the role of senior police officials in the murders, and the government’s failure to properly investigate the crime. The case is being investigated by the Commission of Inquiry appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The government has not commented on the UTHR-J report.

Eyewitness testimony and other information received by UTHR-J reveals that the Sri Lankan aid workers were killed by a member of the Muslim Home Guards, and two police constables in the presence of the Sri Lankan Naval Special Forces around 4.30 p.m. on Friday, August 4, 2006.

Separately, the Sri Lankan embassy in Washington has urged the authorities of the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take steps to prevent the screening of My daughter the terrorist, a movie on LTTE suicide bombers scheduled to be shown at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham, North Carolina, on April 4, a Foreign Ministry official said.