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  • » 04/23/2009, 00.00

    INDIA - SRI LANKA

    Bishop of Chennai: nothing can justify the massacre underway in Sri Lanka

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Archbishop Chinnappa denounces the resignation of the international community. The Church of India prays for peace, and calls for a political solution to the conflict. "We are with the Tamils living in Sri Lanka, and those dispersed all over the world."

    Chennai (AsiaNews) - "It has become a mass graveyard - the bloody war in Sri Lanka has led to a mass massacre, and nothing can justify this military option." Malayappan Chinnappa, archbishop of Chennai, comments to AsiaNews on the reports from Sri Lanka, where the army has launched a military operation to wipe out the resistance of the Tamil Tigers.

    All over the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, there are demonstrations against the war that is making hundreds of thousands of refugees, and a growing number of victims among civilians. A general strike called by Tamil associations and groups in the state is receiving support from some local political groups, including the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress Party, but as India goes through the second of five rounds in the national elections, many parties prefer to steer clear.

    The archbishop of Chennai calls for international pressure on the government of Colombo, and says: "World leaders should utilize all their power to stop the war in Sri Lanka. The operations of the international bodies and world communities should be exhaustive. History has proved that military solutions never bring about a resolution, rather political negotiations and peaceful dialogue can hope to bring about some resolution.

    "To the Tamils currently living all over the world - we are with you in spirit, prayer and solidarity." The Indian Church "is also with all the suffering people, all the victims of the war in the killing fields of Sri Lanka." "The Church is Mother to all peoples," Archbishop Chinnappa adds, "all are children of God, and we the Church prays incessantly for an immediate end to the war for suffering masses in the so-called 'safe zone', and their views reflect the realities on the ground."

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    See also

    27/01/2009 SRI LANKA
    Massacre of civilians, bishop of Jaffna calls for extension of buffer zone
    Hundreds of civilians dead, killed even in the "safety zone." The army and the Tamil Tigers are trading accusations. Bishop of Jaffna: the buffer zone must be extended immediately and respected, to save many lives.

    24/09/2008 SRI LANKA
    Appeal from Sri Lanka bishops on behalf of war victims
    The episcopal conference decries the sufferings of the displaced, without shelter or food. And it calls upon the army and the Tamil Tigers to "respect the lives of civilians" and guarantee "humanitarian corridors" in order to move them into more secure areas.

    07/02/2009 SRI LANKA
    Situation worsens for civilians in Wanni
    About 250,000 refugees have nothing, and it is almost impossible to reach them with food. The only functioning hospital has been bombed, and its patients removed.

    23/01/2009 SRI LANKA
    Columbo army creates safe zone for civilians fleeing war
    The head of the military in Vanni meets with the head of the Red Cross to plan access and protection of civilians in the area. Catholic and Anglican bishops express appreciation for the army's decision, and call upon the Tamil Tigers not to violate the area with attacks against soldiers and refugees.

    12/12/2008 SRI LANKA
    In the future of Caritas, commitment to peace and reconciliation
    Fr. Oswald B. Firth, the former director of the charitable Catholic institution, hopes for a greater commitment to the renewal of Sri Lankan society. At the 40th anniversary of its foundation, he calls upon Caritas to support peace between the Tamil Tigers and the army: "people are exhausted with the war."



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