Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Rev. S. I. Anantharaja Injured

And Vanni situation

from Rev. Dr. S. Jeyanesan, January 29, 2009

Along with him, 39 people were injured, among them 3 of our Orphanage Children.  

We also heard 17 people were killed in our compound the same day...  

At that time the Government also announced Suthanthirapuran as a neutral zone. I wonder how an aerial bombardment could happen at a Government declared neutral zone...  

We also receive reports that hundreds and hundreds of injured people are there without any medical care.

Dear brothers and sisters,  

Further to my mail about the Wanni deteriorating situation, I am sad to inform you that one of our Church of the American Ceylon Mission Minister, the Rev. S. I. Anantharajah, Parish Priest of Murukandy and the manager of the Murukandy Girls' Home and the Day Care Center was injured as a result of aerial bombardment yesterday 28-1-2009 at Suthanthirapuram Church premises.

Along with him, 39 people were injured, among them 3 of our Orphanage Children.  

We also heard 17 people were killed in our compound the same day.   

A month ago Rev. Anantharaja moved from Murukandy with his family, children of the Murukandy Girls' Home and the parishners of his Church to our Kilinochchi Church compound. Then he and the other pastors, considering the worsening situation in Kilinochchi, decided to move further interior and went to Vivamadu Church Premises.

When I visited Visvamadu in December 2008, there were about 3000 people in the premises. Later I heard that number increased to 7000, including all our CACM ministers, Anglican Priests, Methodist Pastors, Catholic Priests and the orphan children of Karunanilayam, Navajeevanam and Shalom Nagar.  

I was informed a week ago by the Rev. P. N. Anukoolan, the Area Minister in Wanni, that it has become impossible and dangerous to stay at Visvamadu. I advised them to leave all their belongings and to move out to Suthanthirapuram, which was considered safe zone. At that time the Government also announced Suthanthirapuran as a neutral zone. I wonder how an aerial bombardment could happen at a Government declared neutral zone. I do not know how many people were there when the incident took place.  

Communications are completely cutoff.  

We also receive reports that hundreds and hundreds of injured people are there without any medical care.  

Even at this juncture I reiterate that an immediate cease fire and cessation of hostilities is absolutely essential and urgent.  

Please do pray for the situation and do whatever possible.  

With peace and prayers,  

Yours very sincerely,