02/10/2007, 00.00
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Statue of Our Lady of Lourdes sheds tears of blood in Jaffna

This area is among the hardest hit by the ethnic conflict between the Tamil rebels and the national army. The image was in a private home and has now been transferred to a neighbouring church.

Jaffna (AsiaNews) – In Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, in the heart of civil war between the rebels and the national army, a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes has shed tears of blood. The statue in a house near a road leading to Jaffna hospital was immediately transferred to the closest church of St John the Baptist.

A crowd of people gathered to venerate the statue. AsiaNews learned the news from Caritas in Jaffna (HUDEC). No official comments have been made by the ecclesiastical authorities as yet.

Jaffna has been afflicted by a severe humanitarian crisis since August 2006 when the government closed the only highway linking the peninsula to the rest of the country, hindering the delivery of medical and food aid to the population. The local bishop, Mgr Thomas Savundaranayagam, has drawn attention to the suffering of the people many times, urging both parties to allow aid delivery. Colombo – which reopened the A9 road “temporarily” – says the Tigers attack the highway and extort tolls from vehicles. Further, the government says reopening the A9 would allow rebels to freely transport arms and fighters.

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