10.12.07 10:33 Alter: 4 yrs

Sri Lanka: war must be stopped immediately

 

Catholic women kneeling in prayer on the soil before the statue of Christ at the war-damaged Anglican Christ church in Jaffna. Photo © Anto Akkara/WCC, taken during the WCC's Living Letters visit to Sri Lanka, 4-10 August, 2007.

In a joint statement, the Catholic Bishop's Conference of Sri Lanka, the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka and the National Council of Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka deplore the aggravated situation in Sri Lanka and call for an immediate stop of the pursuit of war.

 

Full text of the statement:

 

The war and violence in Sri Lanka has escalated to a fearful level surpassing all standards of civility.  Both the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) seems totally unmindful of the utter hardships and misery caused to the civilians of all ethnic communities.  A bomb goes off in Nugegoda wantonly killing sixteen totally innocent civilians and maiming many.  This is followed by large numbers of Tamils being detained and many sent to the Boossa Detention Centre.  We have heard the story of an old couple on their way to church on Sunday being detained at a check point.  They were been made to stand in the hot sun for more than three hours for the offence of not carrying their Police report with them.  We are not aware that carrying the police report is mandatory!

 

We also deplore the indiscriminate killings happening in Wanni through aerial bombings and the Kebitigollewa bomb blast that killed innocent civilians.

 

The security of peoples is totally disregarded by both the LTTE and the GOSL. However, we unequivocally say that the state has a bounden duty and responsibility to protect people of all communities in the country.  The democratically elected government of a country must be capable of maintaining law and order in the country.  The war cannot be made an excuse for all the hardships the peoples are facing.  The pursuit of this war must be stopped immediately without allowing the war to endanger the well being of all people.  

 

Therefore we call upon:

 

  • The Government of Sri Lanka to avoid the path of war immediately and put forward their proposals for a political solution to the ethnic conflict.
  • The LTTE also to stop their military action and terrorist activities and co-operate with the GOSL towards working out a political solution based on a model of devolution of political power which ensures irrevocably the rights of the minorities.

 

Signed 

 

Catholic Bishop's Conference of Sri Lanka 

 

National Christian Council of Sri Lanka 

 

National Council of Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka

 

 

Read more on the World Council of Churches' ecumenical Living Letters visit to Sri Lanka (4-14 August, 2007)