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Expulsion of Tamil Citizens from Colombo
CEYLON 070607-1
June 7, 2007

A Statement by the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] I refer to the disturbing news that Tamil civilians in and around Wellawatte and Pettah are being indiscriminately rounded up and deported to the Tamil areas in the North and East without adequate investigation or explanation.

This is a serious violation of the dignity and civic rights of these citizens of Sri Lanka and if these reports are true, this must be stopped and alternate security measures that safeguard the civic rights of all communities enforced.

The plight of those who have already been deported must be gone into immediately and appropriate remedial steps taken to enable them to once again pursue their legitimate business and interests. Where there has been reasonable suspicion for arrest and investigation, appropriate security procedures must be followed. In all this, the right of all communities in our country to be free to travel for personal and official business must be ensured by the State.

It is within this framework of equal civic rights and the freedom of travel and residence that all necessary security measures and contingency plans must be executed.

I appeal to the President of the country to address these concerns speedily and with understanding.

The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo