Tuesday, 13 January 2015 - 20:29
Meeting between the POPE and the President begins; Papal Mass as Galle face green to begin at 8.30 tomorrow morning.
The main papal mass will be held at Galle Face Green at 8.30 tomorrow morning.
Large crowds are expected at tomorrow’s papal mass in Colombo and the government yesterday declared tomorrow a public and bank holiday.
The Sri Lanka Catholic Church stated that His Holiness Pope Francis will arrive in Galle Face Green at 7.30 tomorrow morning in the open pope-mobile to greet the followers.
Meanwhile special transport services including buses and train services will be operative with effect from today to enable the pilgrims to travel to Colombo.
Accordingly, two special trains are scheduled to arrive in Colombo this afternoon, one from Jaffna and another from Badulla.
Several other trains from Kandy, Puttalam, Chilaw, Kurunegala, Avissawella and Matara are scheduled to reach Colombo around mid night today.
The pilgrims who expect to participate in the papal mass have been permitted to enter Galle Face Green from 5 o’clock this afternoon.
External Transport Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara stated the SLTB has deployed 650 buses free of charge for the pilgrims to come to Colombo; In addition.
Meanwhile police stated that buses transporting pilgrims are allowed upto Lake House roundabout, and having dropped pilgrims, they should be parked in Maradana and Sangharaja Mawatha.
In addition, a special traffic plan is operative around Galle Face Green tomorrow.
Police Media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that entry roads will be closed fully at the time of the Pope’s arrival to Galle Face Green and his departure.
The road between Galle Face Hotel and Presidential Secretariat will also be closed from 7 o’clock in the morning to 12 noon tomorrow.
After the papal mass is concluded at Galle Face Green, His Holiness Pope Francis will leave for Madu Church, and he is expected to reach Mannar at 3.15 in the afternoon.
The Pope is expected to participate in a holy communion and make a special address in the Madu Church premises.
At the same time, our correspondent stated that a large number of pilgrims have already gathered at the Madu Church premises intending to obtain the blessings of His Holiness the Pope.