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Sri Lanka in crisis, restore peace in war-affected areas: Bishops



Colombo, 14 December 2013: Bring war refugees home, tell the truth about the "disappeared" ; eliminate all forms of torture; work together, Tamils ​​and Sinhalese , to restore a climate of peace, even in the northeast of the country. These are some of the suggestions contained in the Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka (Cbcsl) pastoral letter "Towards Reconciliation and the Rebuilding of our Nation," to resolve the crisis that is sweeping across the country. Card. Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo and President of Cbcsl, stated that "the letter is not aimed at a government, president or political party in particular. Rather it addresses the situation in general."

The document was presented last December 8. "The Catholic bishops - the letter reads - sincerely believe that given the time period already lapsed after the end of the war, meaningful steps need to be taken to ease the political climate in the North and East, which would permit the early return to normal life of the war affected people. Delay and procrastination would only lead to irresolvable blocks to peace and good neighbourliness in these areas".

These measures according to the Catholic bishops include "the appointment of governors for the provinces of North and East; close collaboration between the government and the Tamil National Alliance [TNA, the first Tamil party in the country] to restore peace and unity; safeguard the principles of justice and truth; limit the action of the security forces in matters of internal and external security; speed up the process of resettlement of internally displaced persons , without distinction ethnic and religious."

Moreover, the Cbcsl states it is important that "everyone can commemorate their dead; that information about the soldiers and rebels who died in the war be disclosed and that each inmate jailed for suspected ties to terrorist activities be tried or released, and that special laws enacted during the war be abolished."

Finally, it is urgent to "eliminate all forms of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and to clarify where all the people who have disappeared since the war to today are."
Source: AsiaNews




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