The Mannar Catholic community has condemned police threats made against the parish priest of Iranai Matha Church for joining and supporting the land-return protests of Iranaithivu villagers.
Reverend Father Arul Selvan was threatened by a police officer while supporting a road-block protest undertaken by the people of Iranaithivu, on their 54th day of protest, on Friday.
The Manner Diocese Catholic Union reiterated in a statement on Sunday thats its priests had always been united with the people and their struggles.
“No-one can forget that our priests even gave their lives during the war, staying with and serving the people until the very end,” the statement said.
The Union condemned police and military threats on religious leaders and activists, and called for the local police to begin engaging with the people in order to understand their struggles.
The Union also called for the police officer concerned to issue a personal apology to Father Arul Selvan.
The people of Iranaithivu, two islands off the coast of Kilinochchi, have been protesting for the return of their lands and fishing ports from the Sri Lankan Navy.