12/05/2007, 00.00
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Anglican Bishop of Colombo: Condemns Violence, Respect and Compassion

by Melani Manel Perera
Tough sentence for both the rebels and the military for the recent massacres. A call to all to condemn violence and to treat everyone with comprehension and compassion in order to overcome hatred and vengeance. Over 70 thousand dead in 24 years of civil war.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – The Anglican Bishop of Colombo, Duleep De Chickera, condemned the violence in a statement on November 30th after two days of combat in Sri Lanka left 49 civilians dead and at least 60 injured. He defined the recent attacks against the people as “possibly the most immoral expression against humanity”.

On November 28th, a bomb blast killed 19 people in Nugegoda, one of the main suburbs of Colombo. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) claimed responsibility. They are also accused of the blast that went off in one of the catholic schools near the northern district of Mannar, which injured 7 teachers and scholars. The bishop also criticized the government, who is suspected of provoking the explosion that killed between 9 and 13 people in Ilenkerni, in the area controlled by the LTTE. He also said that mystery continues to surround “the ruthless assassinations of the farmers in Mahavilachchiva in the central district of Anuradhapura and of Ranminitenne in the south. “They are”, he concluded, “crimes against all humanity and must be condemned”.

“We sow more seeds of hatred, which strengthens the cycle of revenge in a nation which is already lacerated and divided. To condemn the killing of those of our own ethnic group only, and remain silent when others are harmed, encourages the perpetrators of civilian violence and deepens our social wounds of grievance and distrust.”

In his statement, he urged everyone to “remain calm and to commit themselves to rebuilding social trust”, from “the love of our country and for our people, to overcome revenge, violence and hatred with comprehension, respect and compassion”. Any other reaction will bring destruction for all”. Since the LTTE began its fight for secession in 1983, more that 70 thousand people have died. In 2002, a truce was agreed upon, but the violence started up again in December 2005, leaving since then, over 5 thousand victims.



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