In our reflections last year on the commemoration of independence we emphasised with much concern that the sixty third commemoration of our Independence can be meaningful only by creating an environment where all people alike will be able to live without fear or suspicion and without any hesitation, they will have to feel and believe that they are a valuable and a useful part of this country.
Is the report of the UNSG’s panel of experts a conspiracy and obstacle to reconciliation?
Group of concerned Christians
25th April 2011
In the past weeks, we as Christians have been reflecting on the torture, killing of Jesus by the rulers of that time, with complicity of high priests of the time, due to Jesus’s efforts to stand by the poor and oppressed and bring them good news of liberation. Our reflections had been taking into account the situation in our country today and we had noted the controversy surrounding the report of the panel of experts of the UN Secretary General related to the war in Sri Lanka.
Voluntary Resignation of the Rt. Rev Duleep Kamil de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
Bishop Duleep de Chickera has voluntarily resigned from the Bishopric of Colombo with effect from the 31st of December 2010.
A Statement by the Rt. Revd. Duleep de Chickera, the Bishop of Colombo
"Having just returned to the country from travel overseas I wish to express my disapproval and disappointment with the recent sentence and imprisonment of Gen. Sarath Fonseka.
Another Commission - another chance for post-war reconciliation.
It is now a year since the civil war has ended in our beloved Sri Lanka and sadly national reconciliation continues to elude us. In these circumstances the CR de Silva Commission on “lessons learnt and reconciliation” is timely and welcome. It is yet another chance to learn from mistakes of the past and to humbly declare the truth that brings reconciliation.
A statement by the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
An opportunity for national growth and harmony
I recently returned from one of my regular pastoral visits to our congregations (churches) and schools in Jaffna. Such visits are always educative and humbling.
What was immediately noticeable was the preoccupation with routine in the lives of the people; simply because there seems to be little else to look forward to.
Two recent incidents of violence unleashed against innocent and defenceless Tamil civilians by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam )must be condemned unreservedly by peace loving Sri Lankans of all communities.
It is with great shock and surprise that we have learnt of the recent acts of violence in our country. The attack on the MTV Media Station and the assassination of Mr Lasantha Wickremetunga, the senior journalist of the Leader Group are clear indications of the state of the freedom of expression that is available in our country today. These are only the latest incidents of a long lasting threat on the media and on the freedom of expression. We hasten to condemn these treacherous acts unequivocally in the hardest possible manner and express our heartfelt condolences and the assurance of our prayers to the family of Mr Wickrematunga.
The Rt Rev Duleep de Chickera the Bishop of Colombo of the Church of Ceylon led the Diocesan Councillors in a Peace Meditation calling an immediate halt to the 30 year long ethnic war.
The meditation was performed on the front lawn of the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour just adjoining the Bandaranayake Memorial International Conference Hall, the premier convention centre of the island.
A Statement by the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
The Church of Ceylon (E-P) – Ceylon People of conscience are perturbed that the current war in the LTTE occupied Vanni places the majority of civilians at tremendous risk. Unarmed and trapped in this war zone, large numbers of civilians, including children, are caught in the intense cross-fire of a deadly armed confrontation. Thousands are already displaced and can flee only to places of temporary safety.
The Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour, Colombo
This month was World Environment Day and the theme for the current year is ‘Kick the Habit: Towards a Low Carbon Economy’. Modern lifestyles need to be supported by economic activities that release large quantities of carbon into the atmosphere, and this leads to unfavourable climate changes such as global warming, erratic weather patterns, increasingly frequent and severe storms and other natural disasters. Such adverse changes can be slowed down by corrective action but not stopped or reversed.
122nd Session of the Diocesan Council, Colombo
Address by The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I welcome you all to yet another Annual Session of our Diocesan Council. Many have travelled from distant places undergoing a great deal of hardship and I appreciate your efforts. We have gathered as a Council under Christ to confer and decide on behalf of the Church, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So let us pray and work so that the time spent together in worship, study, fellowship and business may benefit God's agenda for God's Church and God's world. May all our doings be acceptable and pleasing in God's sight and may we return to our homes and congregations at the end of these three days fulfilled and renewed.
Archbishop of Canterbury - Christians should stand for hope in conflict
Christian’s communities in the middle of conflict need to stand for hope, forgiveness, and reconciliation, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said. During a visit to Sri Lanka, Archbishop Williams told a packed congregation in the cathedral church of Christ the King in Kurunegala that Christians have to feed those around them by bringing hope:
‘When we find ourselves in the middle of conflict, of suffering, and even of despair, we as Christians have to say ‘we have food to give’. And the food that we have to give is the promise that forgiveness is possible, that reconciliation is possible’.
An Easter Message to the Nation from the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
This year we celebrate Easter, the festival that commemorates the resurrection and new life in Christ, in circumstances of death and despair.
Desperate Sri Lankans
The East has become a full blown battlefield. The culture of killings, abductions and child conscriptions which have been the order of the day is now more intensified with aerial bombings, multi-barrel shelling and claymore mines.
There is little regard for the presence and protection of civilians. Last week, eight Tamil civilians were killed at Morakottanchenai, allegedly due to GoSL military shelling; this week, seven Sinhala and three Tamil construction workers were killed allegedly by a Tamil group at the Hope Village in Mylambaveli. Most recently an alleged LTTE bomb planted in a bus killed 16 persons; most of whom were civilians, in Ampara. All these killings must be condemned forthwith. The right to life and dignity of all, challenges these indiscriminate and aggressive military and militant strategies.
By The Rt. Revd. Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
I have just returned from a Pastoral visit to the Eastern province. A sense of helplessness and frustration prevails. Armed security force personnel, check points, and the sound of continuous shelling are as real and conspicuous as are the camps for internally displaced persons. Both realities of war and displacement seem to be accepted with a sense of fatalism.
The people take each day as it comes. Reports of more deaths, more conscription, more displaced persons and more hartals are part of life. People speak only if they trust you. Independent voices are growing cynical and subdued. There is no trusted authority to hear their fears and grievances. In matters of life and death the people are weary of the cycle of bureaucratic explanations followed with indifference and inaction. There is a feeling that politico-military agendas are far more important than people and that little will be done to avert the hardship of the masses. These anxious persons are Sri Lankan, living in democratic Sri Lanka in 2007.
Excerpts from the Address by the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo at the 121st Annual Sessions of the Diocesan Council Diocese of Colombo, (Anglican) Church of Ceylon.
A Statement by the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
The Nation was shocked to receive news of the massacre of 10 Muslim civilians in Panama near Pottuvil. This brutal act must be condemned unreservedly. It is another deliberate attempt to provoke our continuing conflict and add to the misery of communities who want to live in peace.
I repeat my call, that given the prevailing conditions, a team of competent Sri Lankan expatriates representing all communities should be invited to conduct an impartial independent investigation into these killings. I also express my disappointment that despite promises, no Commissions of Inquiry have got off the ground and completed their work. It also now appears that there will be no international investigation into the massacre of the 17 ACF aid workers in Muthur. The investigation into the killing of 5 students in Trincomalee and persons in Pesalai and Allaipiddy are further cases where justice is being delayed.
I urge the President in the name of a transparent and democratic society as well as in the name of our suffering and afflicted communities who long for justice and peace to expedite these investigations in a manner that is acceptable to all.
I extend the heartfelt condolences of our Church to the grieving families and to the Muslim community in Pottuvil.
The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo