Oblate Father Saviripillai Edmund Reginald was reported May 21 to be safe with his parents in a government-run camp near the city of of Vavuniya, Sri Lanka.
He was able to get a message to family members outside of the country that he escaped the war zone where the final battle between Sri Lankan military forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels took place May 18. He had not been heard from since May 14.
Oblate Father Seamus Finn, the U.S. director of the Missionary Oblates’ justice, peace and integrity of creation program in Washington, said telephone calls are monitored and restrictions remain on the movement of the Tamil minority in the northern region of the country, especially those confined to the camps.
Concern remains for the future of the Tamil people, an ethnic group native to Tamil Nadu on the Indian subcontinent and the northeastern part of Sri Lanka, off the southeast coast of India. Tamils had sought an independent state in Sri Lanka for more than 50 years, and rebel factions initiated military action in 1983 with that goal in mind.
CNS will continue to report on the Catholic Church’s attempts to aid in recovery efforts and to assure that the human rights of the Tamil people are protected.