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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 03/17/2014, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka, Catholic priest and human rights activist arrested

    Melani Manel Perera

    The police deny everything, but the detainees warned others they were being taken away via text message. The two had asked for information on the whereabouts of a Tamil woman and her 13 year old daughter, arrested on suspicion of "hiding a criminal in their house". Their fate remains unknown.

    Colombo ( AsiaNews) - A Catholic priest and a human rights activist were arrested yesterday by the Kilinochchi anti-terrorism police (TID) in northern Sri Lanka. Fr. Praveen OMI, director of the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation ( CPR ) in Jaffna, and Ruki Fernando, special advisor of the Center for human rights documentation, are in the Colombo TID. The police deny the detention of the two, but Fr. Ashok Stephen OMI, who works with Fr. Praveen, confirmed the arrest to AsiaNews. In fact Ruki Fernando warned some friends of their arrest, via text message.

    "This morning - explains Fr. Ashok, who is also a lawyer - I presented in my vestments and asked for Fr. Praveen . A few minutes later the officer Walisundara told me that that person was not there, he asked me to wait and then they questioned me. They were more interested in me than in telling me where Fr. Praveen and Ruki were. They reiterated that the two are not being held in custody in Colombo. If the situation does not change, I will present an official court complaint".

    Their arrest was also confirmed by Fr. Rohan Silva , provincial of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Colombo. Last night the priest was able to speak with Fr. Praveen, who confirmed he is in a police station in Kilinochchi. In a message sent to some of his friends, Ruki Fernando said he was interrogated separately from the priest.

    Local sources have told AsiaNews that the two Catholics were arrested by a dozen police officers for visiting Darmapuram (Kilinochchi), where on March 15 police arrested a Tamil woman and her 13 year old daughter (see photo) . The mother, Balendran Jeyakumari, is an activist for human rights with a group that works with the Families of the Disappeared. She herself has lost her husband and two grown sons, who were killed during the civil war. A third child disappeared into thin air in 2009, at the end of the conflict.

    Witnesses say that March 15 about one hundred soldiers and policemen surrounded Balendran's house, preventing anyone from being able to enter or exit. Then they stormed it dragging away the woman and her teenage daughter, whose name is Vithushani. According to police, the activist "gave refuge to a criminal".  But no evidence of this was found.

     

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    See also

    18/03/2014 SRI LANKA
    Slamming the arrest of a priest and an activist, Church calls for their immediate release
    The Christians Solidarity Movement (CSM) and the National Catholic Commission for Justice, Peace and Human Development strongly condemn the arrest of Fr Praveen OMI and Ruki Fernando.

    28/10/2010 SRI LANKA
    Sri Lanka, families remember their "disappeared"
    Since the '80s tens of thousands of disappearances related to the long civil war that " have never been clarified", amid government inaction. The commemoration was held at the monument site at the junction of Raddoluwa in the city of Seeduwa. The 20th year the celebration has been held.

    21/09/2006 SRI LANKA
    Catholic Church alarmed country might fall "into a state of anarchy"
    The archbishop of Colombo voices local clergy's concerns about the escalating violence in the country's north-east, calling on the authorities to shed light on the disappearance of Fr Jim Brown.

    08/03/2013 SRI LANKA
    Sri Lankan police stop hundreds of Tamils from taking part in peaceful protest
    The people blocked (75% women) were from the north and went to Colombo to protest against enforced disappearances. Police and army speak of "security reasons", but witnesses tell of threats.

    12/12/2009 SRI LANKA
    Sri Lanka: Negombo fishermen protesting against government and police
    On the Day for the Defence of Human Rights 500 members of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement and other associations in the fisheries sector have demonstrated against illegal fishing and the inaction of government and police. For them Colombo’s policies encourages the logic of profit and the development of tourism at the expense of small fishermen.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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