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Statue unveiled for Father who was forcibly disappeared in Batticaloa 30 years ago

The 30th anniversary since human rights activist Father Eugene John Hebert was forcibly disappeared in Batticaloa was commemorated, earlier this month.

The American-born Jesuit missionary also had a statue erected of him at St. Michael's College, where he worked as a basketball coach, in honour of his charitable, educational and sports work and contribution.

The memorial was led by Archbishop Navaji, the president of St. Michael's College, Batticaloa. Right Reverend Joseph Ponniah from Batticaloa attended and paid homage to the statue of Father Hebert.

Father Hebert joined the Trincomalee District Church of Jesus Christ in 1948 to work as a missionary for Sri Lanka. He went on to work in Trincomalee and Batticaloa and served as a science graduate teacher and sports instructor at St. Soosaiyappar College and then St. Michael's College, Batticaloa in 1970 as a basketball coach.

During the armed conflict in 1990, he rushed to the Valaichchenai area to evacuate the people, including priests and nuns who had been trapped by the Sri Lankan army. Father Hebert went missing with a Tamil student in Eruvar when they were travelling on a motorbike from Valaichchenai to Batticaloa on 15th August 1990. 

The memorial was attended by bishops, members of the Michaelmen Sports Club, St. Michael's College, alumni and many others.

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