05/15/2006, 00.00
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To stop terrorism, governments in India should listen to what people demand

by Nirmala Carvalho
After the speech of Celestino Migliore, permanent envoy of the Holy See to the United Nations, to the General Assembly, human rights activists talk to AsiaNews about the causes and effects of terrorism, a phenomenon that has not justification but can be stopped.

Delhi (AsiaNews) – International terrorism "has no justification" and "must be condemned with force", but it is necessary for "governments to listen to what people demand and eliminate the cause of its development", this according to Fr Cedric Prakash e John Dayal, well-known Indian human rights activists. They spoke to AsiaNews about the speech delivered by Mgr Celestino Migliore, permanent envoy of the Holy See to the United Nations, last Thursday on the occasion of the 60th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on informal consultations of the plenary on a counter-terrorism strategy.

In his statement, Mgr Migliore denied any moral value or justification to terrorist attacks in accordance with the 2002 Assisi interfaith meeting backed by John Paul II. Now as then, the Holy See noted that whilst "political, social and economic exclusion" might cause terrorism, it does not make it any more permissible.

"Archbishop Migliore's comments must be welcomed," said Jesuit Fr Cedric Prakash, director of the Prakash centre for Human Rights.

"Terrorism, which is emerging in many corners of the earth, must be faced from a point of view that takes into account the aspirations and hopes of the people. The ability to listen to these demands by the powerful would be a necessary first step towards lasting solutions.

"The world community must also act on state-sponsored terrorism and the use of every form of weapon, be it nuclear, biological or small arms. Religious leaders should be courageous enough to usher in a world of peace, non-violence and love."

"Terrorism is not honourable, but social inequity and injustice is major reason for young people taking to violence," said John Dayal, chairman of the All India Catholic Union, "and questions of equity in development must be addressed by states and the global community" to defeat terrorism.

Each nation has its own history and cultural baggage of terrorism. "In India, Islamic terrorism and Hindu terrorism are growing by feeding on each other. Christians are innocent victims of this cross fire," he added.

"Ethnic and religious terrorism stems from government apathy and grows as a result of it. Rational and mature politics demands a considered approach that includes removing its root causes." 

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