31 August, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






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

e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/23/2008
SRI LANKA
Sri Lankan Catholics go on a pilgrimage from north to south for peace
by Melani Manel Perera
March participants, 25 nuns and men religious, want to pass on a message of “peace and harmony” to the nation so that “love for life” may overcome the abhorrent logic of war.

 Dalupotha (AsiaNews) – “The civil war has ruined the lives of over a million people in every ethnic group. Nights have been dangerous and the rising sun has not brought much more security, especially in the northern part of the country. Often I have had to lift hundreds of dead bodies: soldiers, Tamil Tiger rebels or Tamil and Sinhalese civilians,” said Fr R.J.E. Jayaseelan, OMI.

He spoke at a prayer vigil held today at St Anthony’s Church in Dalupotha during a meeting that brought together more than 500 people—students, members of religious congregations, teachers and ordinary people—in a parish in Colombo diocese. The theme of the event was “Let Us Protect Life”.

“We must cleanse our hearts and promote mutual forgiveness by invoking the help and protection of the Virgin Mary,” said Father R J E Jayaseelan, a professor at the local university.

In order to encourage peace and harmony Fr Alfred Alexander, an ethnic Tamil, endorsed a “symbolic pilgrimage” that left St Mary Cathedral yesterday (diocese of Chilaw) across the length of the island nation, from north to south.

A group of about 25 people, including priests and nuns, took to the road; their goal is to pass on a message of peace and harmony to the entire nation.

“We are not interested in getting more people to join the march,” Father Alfred explained. “Our action is symbolic; to walk from north to south as a way to show solidarity to the people we meet along our path.”

In the past “both sides made mistakes,” he added. “This must be acknowledged and accepted. Now it is time however to look forward and promote a logic of life through this march. And to accomplish it I put myself into God’s hands, totally.”

“Our goal is to spread the idea that the war can be stopped through power sharing which preserves national unity’ said Fr Tissa Balasooriya during the prayer vigil. “Pressure can be brought on the rebels so that they can lay down their arms.”

Christians must take the lead in this and ask the “government and the opposition to find a common solution.”

Tomorrow the pilgrimage for peace will reach Our Lady of Sri Lanka. A Mass will be held there. The rosary will also be recited for a special purpose, namely to get God’s and the Virgin Mary’s blessing for the “whole country and its people, whatever their ethnic background or religious creed.”


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/25/2009 SRI LANKA
Six priests held prisoner and in solitary confinement in refugee camps
by Ranil Kumaratunga
11/28/2006 SRI LANKA
Jaffna Church trusts government; not so the Tigers
by Col Memara
08/19/2006 SRI LANKA
Jaffna priests: save us from silence and death
by Danielle Vella
11/26/2004 VATICAN - ASIA
Consecrated life: bearing witness is more than a job
02/10/2009 SRI LANKA
Religious personnel under Wanni bombings
by Melani Manel Perera

Editor's choices
INDIA
Card. Toppo: Learning to take care of the earth and its inhabitants from India’s tribals
by Nirmala CarvalhoThe Archbishop of Ranchi, speaks to AsiaNews ahead of the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation (1 September). The nation is home to "more than one million tribal Catholic, and in our culture we respect nature and will celebrate its gifts." Today "to be true witnesses of Christ, we must respond to the ecological crisis through a deep spiritual conversion."
VATICAN - IRAQ
Fr. Samir of Amadiya: The Pope is the voice of Iraqi refugees
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chaldean priest met Pope Francis, asking him to keep the world’s focus on Christian refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. His diocese is home to 3500 Christian families and almost half a million Yazidis who fled Islamic State violence. ISIS is not all Islam and there are Muslims who want an Iraq of coexistence. Christians might not emigrate, but remain in their own land. Aid projects for refugees: school for children, work for adults, a home for every family. An appeal to AsiaNews.
LEBANON
Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut DeclarationFreedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.