BISHOP EXPOSED (99 Mar 31)
The Bishop of Mannarama Fr. Rayappu Joseph had said that the army should leave the Madhu church region once the checking of refugees is over. The Bishop never asked the LTTE to leave the church premises while they were there.
The Ranagosa entered the Madu Church area on the 22nd of March and since then the LTTE cadres who were present have retreated to other places. The LTTE cadres were present in the church premises with the refugees and had been very active. In fact Dr. Jayalath Jayawardane visited Madhu church at least twice, to meet the LTTE leaders in order to prepare the background for negotiations between the government and the LTTE. The so-called inter religious group which was supposed to have been lead by the Bhikkus met the LTTE leaders under the sponsorship of the Bishop of Mannarama. ( The Forces Behind the Talks ). The Bishop is in contact with the LTTE and has good relations with them, to say the least. The same Bishop was instrumental in writing to Mandela on behalf of the LTTE.
If the army were to move out of the church premises the LTTE cadres will come back and the Sinhala Catholics would not be able to go to Madhu on pilgrimage. The Sinhala Catholics should try to understand the role of some of the clergy, especially that of the Tamil priests who claim that they are Tamils first and Christian second.