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Last updated: 06 August, 2008 - Published 14:14 GMT
 
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Madhu shrine handed over
 
Statue of Virgin Mary
The statue was taken away as fighting intensified
The Sri Lankan army says Catholic priests have been handed over control of the country's most revered church in the island's north-west.

The army said the security forces would now assist the priests in resolving any problems regarding water and electricity supplies.

Priests and staff of the famous Madhu shrine, in Mannar district, left with a statue of the Virgin Mary following heavy fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels in the area in April this year.

The statue, which was taken inside the rebel-controlled region further north, is now in the town of Mannar.

The Sri Lankan army has wrested control of the entire region in recent months.

The renovation of the church was completed by the army last month.

 
 
LOCAL LINKS
Church 'yet to take over' Madhu
27 April, 2008 | Sandeshaya
Madhu Matha 'transferred within'
21 April, 2008 | Sandeshaya
Madhu Matha moved to LTTE area
03 April, 2008 | Sandeshaya
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