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    » 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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    See also

    29/04/2009 SRI LANKA
    Rajapaksa triumphs in provincial elections: a vote against the Tamils?
    The victory of the United People's Freedom Alliance seems like indirect approval of the war against the Tigers. But the country is witnessing a competition of solidarity to assist the refugees. The Christian Churches are the most active. Muslims send five cooks to refugee centers in Vanni.

    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.

    10/02/2009 SRI LANKA
    Religious personnel under Wanni bombings
    Hundreds of thousands of people are trapped in the war zone. There is a lack of food in Wanni: over the past 10 days, only 8 aid trucks have been sent for 250,000 people. No one can enter the refugee centers managed by the government.

    02/03/2009 SRI LANKA
    Government plans "villages" for the 200,000 refugees of Vanni
    They are being built in the areas of Mannar and Vavunya, and are being equipped with schools, banks, post offices, and health clinics. According to government sources, the refugees will remain there for at least three years. The temporary measures are being taken to allow the army to restore the areas involved in the conflict.

    07/01/2009 SRI LANKA
    Inhabitants of the north oppose celebration over capture of Kilinochchi
    The government of Colombo has called for a day of celebration for the army's victory over the Tamil Tigers on January 2. In the refugee camps, the people accuse the government of Rajapaksa of failing to find a political solution to the conflict.



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