02/19/2009, 00.00
SRI LANKA

Church of Colombo collects food and medicine for refugees from north

Melani Manel Perera
An appeal from the archbishop, to "express our concern and solidarity with victims of the war on both sides at this juncture in a more concrete manner." The project is coordinated by Caritas-Seth Sarana. The products collected will be sent to refugee centers in the area of Vavuniya and Kilinochchi managed by the local dioceses.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - The Church of Columbo is collecting food, medicine, and hygiene products to send to refugee centers in Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, and to the soldiers who have been injured in the war between government forces and the rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Oswald Gomis, archbishop of the capital of Sri Lanka, is appealing to the Catholics of the island and to the entire population of Sri Lanka. With this collection, "it appears possible now for us to express our concern and solidarity with victims of the war on both sides at this juncture in a more concrete manner." "In a true spirit of Christian charity let us give generous expression to our solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters irrespective of their race, colour or creed."

The project is being coordinated by Caritas-Seth Sarana, which will collect the donations until March 5. Niran Fernando, coordinator of the charitable organization of the diocese of the capital, explains that three collection points will be set up in the districts of Colombo, Kalutara, and Gampaha. The list of products to be donated includes freeze-dried and non-perishable foods, personal hygiene products, medicines, but also plastic washing basins and paper products destined for the many children in the refugee camps.

"We are the pioneers of this solidarity task," Niran tells AsiaNews, "and already we have informed to our diocesan centres about this, and they will cooperate with us with donations they collect at their centres." Niran Fernando adds: "We do not have to deal with government in this matter because there are our diocesan centres and they are already assisting the war victims. We directly hand over these collections to our diocesan directors on site."

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