As the former Bishop of Mannar and beloved Tamil activist Right Reverend Dr Rayappu Joseph was laid to rest in Mannar on Monday, vigils have been held in his honour across the Tamil homeland.
In the Mannar district, Rev. Joseph’s diocese and home for many decades, communities engaged in a full day of mourning, with businesses remaining shut. Private transport companies also did not operate. Thousands, including Hindu and Muslim leaders flocked to the St Sebastian Cathedral to pay their last respects.
Mothers of the disappeared held vigil, lighting candles and hanging black flags outside the Rambaikulam St Anthony Church in Vavuniya.
In Puthukudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu, the Puthukudiyiruppu town traders association closed their businesses and held a vigil for the former Bishop, presided over by religious leaders from different faiths.