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'Where is our Rector?' - protests in Jaffna as Sri Lankan President visits disappeared priest's former school

The Sri Lankan President was met by protestors in Jaffna on Monday where he had travelled for the inauguration of a new school building.

President Sirisena was in Jaffna to open a new technology centre at St Patrick's College, where old students and families of the disappeared protested demanding to know the whereabouts of Father Francis Joseph, the school's former rector who was disappeared after surrendering to the Sri Lankan Army alongside hundreds of LTTE cadres and high-ranking LTTE officials in May 2009.

St Patrick's old students were angered by the decision to invite the President who was acting defence secretary at the end of the war, to inaugurate a facility which had been entirely funded by alumni contributions.

On top of the president's huge security detail, police packed the streets in response to the protest with reports of police officers aggressively pushing back protestors, including elderly women, and ripping up placards.

Protestors also reported that some families of the disappeared were invited inside on the pretense of a meeting with the president, in order to disperse the protest, but that the president left without seeing them.

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