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» 09/10/2009
SRI LANKA
Civil society in Sri Lanka: freedom for Tamil refugees and true democracy
by Melani Manel Perera
Demonstration in Colombo of the newborn People's Movement for Freedom and Democracy. The movement brings together Christian leaders of the island, human rights activist and NGO workers. They are demanding the release of refugees, more power to local governments and an economic policy that protects workers.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Leaders of Christian Churches in Sri Lanka, human rights activists and NGO workers on the island came together, Wednesday 9, opposite the railway station in Colombo for a demonstration of the newborn People's Movement for Freedom and Democracy .

In 300 they demonstrated to ask the Government to release the Tamil refugees detained in camps, for the implementation of 13th Amendment of the constitution to devolve more powers to local governments, higher wages and lower cost of living and the defence of press freedom in the country. Among the demonstrators present were Tamil and Sinhalese who held banners and placards written in their own language and photos of relatives and friends imprisoned in refugee camps (see photo).

Fr. Yohan Devananda, an Anglican clergyman of Nawal one of the chief organisers of the new movement, tells AsiaNews: "It's time to break the silence because the situation has become shameful. On the surface it seems more bearable, but actually we are moving towards a dictatorial approach”.

Explaining the intentions of  the new group Reverend Devananda announces "other initiatives in other districts, until we get answers to our questions”.  The same commitment was reiterated by Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda at the end of the event. The Catholic priest, coordinator of the Christian Solidarity Movement, reminded participants: "This is just the beginning. We must continue until the needs of the people triumph”.

The People's Movement for Freedom and Democracy includes; the World Peace and Solidarity Movement, the Movement of National Land & Agriculture Research (MONLAR), some left-wing social movements and various figures from civil society.


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See also
10/27/2008 SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka unaware of the fate of the population in war-torn areas
by Melani Manel Perera
09/14/2009 SRI LANKA
Sisters aid elderly Tamil refugees destroyed by war
by Melani Manel Perera
04/21/2009 SRI LANKA
Catholics and Anglicans remember Father Killi, martyr of war
by Melani Manel Perera
04/17/2009 SRI LANKA
Groups of Christians from the south visit war refugees in Vavuniya
by Melani Manel Perera
09/28/2011 SRI LANKA
Colombo prevents persons displaced by the war from returning to their homes
by Melani Manel Perera

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"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
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Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
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pp. 176
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