Photo: Catholic clergy at Maaveerar Naal in Aadkattiveli Thuyilum Illam, November 2019.
Sri Lankan police today applied to the Mannar Court seeking a ban on worship services at the St Sebastian Cathedral as well as other temples and churches between the 20th and 27th November, citing the possibility that fallen LTTE cadres could be commemorated during the services.
The special application under Section 106 of the criminal code was jointly filed by officers-in-charge of stations coming under the purview of the Mannar Police Station, including Silavathurai, Murunkan and Iluppaikadavai.
While the magistrate judge rejected the application and said that worship services could continue as normal under current health and safety regulations, he said that LTTE flags or insignia could not be used in such services.
An opposing petition filed by a team led by Attorney P. Deniswaran had requested the court to take into consideration religious freedoms and fundamental rights, and the rights of families to commemorate their dead relatives in a lawful manner and in compliance with health and safety regulations.
Sri Lankan police and military forces have again engaged in a widespread crackdown of Maaveerar Naal commemorations in the North-East. In Mannar, a monument at an LTTE cemetery was found destroyed this morning.