28 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/10/2010
SRI LANKA
Archbishop of Colombo hopes for peace, reconciliation and national unity between north and south
by Melani Manel Perera
An importance conference is held in Colombo, bringing together bishops, priests and religious to discuss the difficulty situation in Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern regions. Participants call for dialogue to continue, urging the Church to avoid causing problems. They also remind the government that it is time to lift martial law, rein in the troops and restore civilian rule.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – “Let us, through dialogue, advance the cause of the still suffering people of the North and East and take the country on a path towards sustainable peace , reconciliation among the communities and national unity. Confrontational attitudes and outlandish statements will not help in this endeavour,” said Mgr Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, at a conference that brought together priests and religious from various regions of the country. Held at the auditorium of Caritas-Sri Lanka SEDEC in Colombo on 3 August, the event was not open to the public. Nevertheless, information about it was released today.

Mgr Harold Anthony Perera, bishop of Kurunegala and chairman of the Social and Economic Development Centre (SEDEC), Mgr Norbert Andradi, bishop of Anuradhapura, and Fr George Sigamoney, director of SEDEC, attended the seminar. Fathers Henry Silva and Reid Shelton Fernando were the moderators of the different sessions.

Clergymen and religious from the country’s northern and eastern regions voiced a number of concerns relating to the hardships and suffering people in their part of the country have to endure, especially resettled families and refugee camps inmates.

In their view, “in spite of the outward appearances of development work, many serious grievances still exist.” They concern “kidnappings, ransom demands, harassment and abuse of women, lack of livelihood and decent housing, loss of land, restrictions on movement from one place to another, continuing trauma and so on.”

After hearing these facts, Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith said that he understands that the complexity of the situation. “It is not one we would have welcomed. Unfortunately, there are factors in this country, which are not in our control. We have to be clear about that. Anything said in the south by the Church must not make things worse for the suffering people.”

In any event, “We are not silent,” he said. “We have been very active. Yet, we have to use dialogue as the means to achieve success in restoring normalcy in the North and East. There is a Christian way of reacting, based on the teachings of Jesus.  It will be useless if we create more problems. That will not be Christian and won’t help the suffering people.”

Speaking after the bishop, Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuthu, executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and Rohan Edirisinghe, a leading expert in constitutional law, focused on reconciliation and on learning from sharing experiences.

Participants also discussed what the Church could do, as well as how it can avoid past errors.

The conference called for a return to civilian rule in the North and East, the imposition of a code of conduct on the military, the end of emergency rule, and an end to governments-sponsored colonisation, which is depriving Tamil of land.

Finally, Father Sigamoney said he hoped that bridge building between North and South would continue, and that this opportunity to get together and share concerns in a forthright manner would lead to greater understanding and acceptance of the truth.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/17/2009 SRI LANKA
Groups of Christians from the south visit war refugees in Vavuniya
by Melani Manel Perera
01/11/2011 SRI LANKA
Mannar diocese offers proposal for genuine and lasting Tamil-Sinhalese reconciliation
by Melani Manel Perera
10/29/2010 SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka’s Catholic families gather at Thalawila sanctuary
04/30/2009 SRI LANKA
Sinhalese and Tamils will perish divided but flourish united, said Colombo archbishop
by Melani Manel Perera
01/02/2012 SRI LANKA
Solving Sri Lanka’s ‘Tamil problem’ in 2012
by Terence Fernando

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.