President Maithripala Sirisena has presented the scroll (‘Sannas Pathraya’) declaring the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu as a Sacred Site to the Bishop of the Diocese of Mannar, Most Reverend Dr. Emmanuel Fernando.
The event took place at the President’s Office yesterday (29).
One of the most sacred sites of Catholic devotees, the Madhu Church is venerated by both Sinhala and Hindu communities. The site attracts thousands of local and international visitors, especially during the annual feast. The surrounding areas had not been developed due to the prolonged armed conflict and the negligence, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.
During a visit to the site in July 2018, the attention of the President was drawn to the dilapidated status of the site and the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by the President to protect this historical religious site and to develop facilities provided to the visitors, the PMD noted.
Accordingly, projects including upgrading transport and road facilities, drainage systems and sanitation facilities and accommodation facilities are currently underway.
As per the Gazette notification declaring the historical Madhu Shrine as a Sacred Site, approximately 3000 acres from the area has been allocated to construct buildings to facilitate religious activities of the Shrine and 5000 acres have designated as protected areas.
President Sirisena has stated that it was a pleasure to be able to take measures during his tenure to protect this sacred and historically significant site venerated by all the communities, the PMD said.
The Catholic clergy and the Minister of Tourism John Amaratunga were also present on this occasion.