» 02/10/2010, 00.00
Melani Manel Perera
Political tensions rise, bishops appeal for peace
Rajapaksa dissolves parliament, calls for a general election on 8 April. He wants a two-third majority to control the country. Pro- and anti-government supporters clash in the capital. Christian leaders protest against vote rigging in the recent presidential election. Bishops call on politicians and ordinary citizens to “stop the violence”.
28/01/2010 SRI LANKA
Presidential election: Rajapaksa’s landslide victory splits the country
The President’s Office describes the outcome as an “historic and resounding” victory, which shows the “vitality of our democracy”. Opposition parties complain about vote rigging and fraud. Catholic priest laments that “corruption and nepotism” rule the country. Rajapaksa plans to dissolve parliament and call a new general elections.
28/08/2012 SRI LANKA
First Mass for Mullikulam refugees after five years
In the Queen of Heaven Church, the bishop of Mannar called on those present to pray for the community that it may go back to its village. Almost a thousand people took part in the event. Two months ago, the government resettled the refugees in a jungle. For about 150 Catholics from southern Sri Lanka who attended the ceremony, "This is an insult to every human being."
29/12/2015 SRI LANKA
Tamil Catholics celebrate Christmas in the jungle amid mosquitoes and elephants (Photos)
For the past 25 years, residents from the village of Mullikulam have lived as IDPs in the jungle of Marichchikattu without proper housing, sanitation, running water, and electricity. They were also unable to attend Midnight Mass because it was “too dangerous, owing to the presence of elephants on the road." The military drove them from the refugee camp to the church, but soldiers “cannot do anything to improve the situation because everything depends on orders by senior officers.
23/05/2013 SRI LANKA - INDIA
Sri Lanka to build new homes for war refugees with Indian support
With the help of the Indian High Commission, the Sri Lankan government continues its three-year plan to re-house IDPs. The Indian High Commissioner and Sri Lanka's Economic Development Minister launch the project, "an unprecedented humanitarian action," in the east of the island.
27/11/2009 SRI LANKA
Freedom of movement for Tamil refugees, real or election promise?
Humanitarian organisations have doubts over the government’s decision to let out 130,000 refugees still in camps. According to Oxfam, their release will be conditional and limited in time. For Anglican clergyman, Rev M Sathivel, it is all part of a political game. Meanwhile, the presidential campaign scheduled for January heats as opposition runs ex General Fonseka against Rajapaksa.
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