04/14/2011, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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Card Ranjith visits Tamil war victims

by Melani Manel Perera
The wounds inflicted by war are still open, whilst the military proves incapable of communicating with locals in their language. A mission sent by the Congress of Religions looks into the situation of the Northern Province, two years since the end of the 30-year ethnic conflict.
Colombo (AsiaNews) – In the Northern Province, Tamil refugees and war victims spoke about their suffering and voiced their complaints to delegates from the Congress of Religions who came on a fact-finding mission (28-30 March) to evaluate the situation. Two years since the end of the ethnic conflict, “The enormity of the destruction of the last months of the war could be gauged from the destroyed and abandon vehicles and bombed out buildings on both sides of the road from Pudukudirippu to Paranthan,” the delegation’s report said.

Most soldiers do not speak Tamil, the Northern Province’s main language, the report said. This creates a communication problem.

Card Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, was a member of the delegation.

Most of the victims of the war still live in great insecurity, feeling abandoned, without the bare necessities of life.

During their stay, the delegation visited the underground bunker of the late leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Velupillai Prabhakaran.

The 26-member delegation from the Congress of Religions was comprised of ten Buddhist monks, including Rev Ittapane Dhammalankara Anunayake Thero, six Catholic clergymen, including Card Ranjith and Archbishop Emeritus Oswald Gomis, two representatives of the Church of Ceylon, two Methodist priests, two members of the Muslim Clergy, two of the Hindu Clergy and two laypersons from Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC. Meanwhile, yesterday Sri Lankan government has rejected a report commisioned by The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- Moon, on alleged human rights violations committed during the final stages of the conflict in the country, ended in 2009.

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