04/23/2009, 00.00
INDIA - SRI LANKA
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Bishop of Chennai: nothing can justify the massacre underway in Sri Lanka

by 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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