The Catholic Church of Mannar is planning to meet representatives of the government and the LTTE seeking an assurance that they would not enter the Madhu area and refrain from fighting in the church vicinity so that the sacred Madhu statue could be restored in its original shrine.
Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph told the Daily Mirror the shrine could be called safe only if both parties kept at least two kilometres away from the shrine.
The Bishop said uniformed and armed Army personnel should not enter the shrine while the LTTE should stop firing from outside.
The Bishop reiterated his earlier stand that the statue would be brought back no sooner both parties assured that hostilities would end in the area.
Meanwhile Former Madhu Church Administrator Rev. Fr. J. B. Devarajah is to hand over a letter from Bishop Joseph and a petition signed by some 25,000 people in Mannar to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday requesting him to make sure the church was declared a peace zone.The sacred statue was shifted to the Thienpiddy Church in Kilinochchi after heavy fighting erupted in the area.