1 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


» 02/02/2006
SRI LANKA
Uncertainty and tensions on the eve of Independence Day celebrations
Ahead of the February 4 festivities, the archbishop of Colombo tells the country that unity is needed to reach peace. The kidnapping of humanitarian workers in the eastern part of the country threatens the Geneva meeting, which is the last chance for a deal between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Ahead of celebrations of Independence Day (February 4, 1948), the archbishop of Colombo reminded the Catholic community and the whole country that unity is needed to reach peace. There are however fears that rising tensions between the government and the separatists of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) might scuttle the upcoming meeting between the two parties in Geneva (Switzerland).

"We celebrate the anniversary of our national independence this year amidst [. . .] uncertainty and tension," said Mgr Oswald Gomis. "What basically began as a language issue has now blown up to reach high proportions to the extent of demanding territorial division and separation. This has brought us to a prolonged war [. . . but] much as it may be, no problem is insurmountable."

With unity as an "imperative", the prelate spoke about the past. "As Sri Lankans we have faced many a trial in our [. . .] history of over 3000 years. Foreign influences, political, cultural and economic have had their impact on us both for the better and for the worse. But, we have been able to survive all this in spite of our limitations."

"My firm hope is that we would be able to manifest that same unity and co-operative action in finding a solution to the present crisis," he noted. "We have come almost to a point of no return unless our political leaders think broadly and act nobly. We are happy to note the President moving in this direction," he added.

News from the country's north-east are not very good however. Yesterday, in Batticaloa two of ten humanitarian workers from the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) abducted in the last four days were freed.

The authorities believe that the TRO is very close to the Tamil Tigers.

The abductions, which have been blamed on shadowy "paramilitary" groups, might wreck the Geneva meeting agreed to by rebels and the government to jumpstart peace talks that stalled in 2003.

"If Tamil civilians or humanitarian organisation members are being abducted or killed, it makes it very difficult for us to go to Geneva," said S Puleedevan, head of the LTTE peace secretariat.

According to the rebels, the abductions are attributable to fringe elements within the LTTE itself backed by the government.

For their part, authorities in Colombo denied having any knowledge about the incident and said they would investigate.

The Tamil Tigres have been fighting for the independence of the north-eastern part of the country and in 20 years of clashes with government forces some 60,000 people have been killed.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/15/2009 SRI LANKA
Tamil refugees going home to an open prison
by Melani Manel Perera
03/25/2009 SRI LANKA
President Rajapaksa renews talks with Tamil leaders
by Melani Manel Perera
06/20/2008 SRI LANKA
Tamil Tigers refuse to lay down their weapons to re-start the peace process
by Melani Manel Perera
05/06/2009 SRI LANKA
Government sets up Tamil committee, a trick for the opposition
by Melani Manel Perera
09/09/2009 SRI LANKA
Military prepared to release Tamil refugees if family ready to house them
by Melani Manel Perera

Editor's choices
CHINA
Unofficial catholic community of Wenzhou speak out against forced demolition of Crosses, whole diocese fasting
by Joseph YuanAfter 90-year-old Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou led 26 priests of the open Church community to protest against the government’s act to demolish Crosses, Coadjutor Bishop James Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou also led his priests to issue an open statement “Strongly demand a halt to demolish Crosses on all churches.
CHINA
Wenzhou: 90-year-old bishop and 26 priests protest against cross demolitions
by Joseph YuanThis is not the first time that the old bishop and his priests speak out against the demolition campaign against crosses and churches, which has touched more than 400 buildings. During the protest, police tried to disperse the group, which sought to submit a petition. The faithful recite a Crown of the Divine Mercy is in support of the Chinese Church. In Lishui, churches are expected to be torn down by 31 August.
ISRAEL - IRAN
After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally
by Uri AvneryThis is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.

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.