11/09/2009, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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Sri Lanka remembers the fallen. The Church: Do not forget the refugees

by Melani Manel Perera
On “Remembrance Sunday " the veterans of the World Wars along with veterans of the last war between the army and Tamil Tigers. Fr. Noel Dias: Let us pray that the refugees "return to live in their lands of origin soon and according to justice."

Colombo (AsiaNews) - "We pray for all our brothers and sisters in the north so that refugees can return to live in their lands of origin soon and according to justice." Fr. Noel Dias, a representative of the Archdiocese of Colombo celebrated the "Remembrance Sunday", thus uniting the memory of the war dead in Sri Lanka to the situation of the refugees from the conflict between the army and Tamil Tigers.

On November 8, the Sri Lanka Ex-Servicemen Association (SLES) organized the annual commemoration of soldiers killed during the two world wars and the last conflict which for nearly 30 years bloodied the country.  

Starting at 9 am, veteran members of the diplomatic corps of the army and found themselves at the monument of the fallen in Viharamahadevi Park in Columbus. Representatives of the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities remembered the soldiers killed, listening to the ode dedicated to them in Sinhala, Tamil and English, the national anthem of Sri Lanka and prayers conducted by representatives of the four religions.

Fr. Noel invited those present to honour the memory of those killed by building peace and justice in the country. Among the participants in the celebrations of the "Remembrance Sunday" was also General Hamilton Wanasinghe, a former commander of the armed forces of Sri Lanka and new member of Silesia, in addition to disabled World War II veterans and several platoons of army corps.   

During the ceremony, representatives of six families of soldiers who died during the war against the Tigers, laid wreaths in memory of their loved ones at the foot of the memorial (photo).

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