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The Killing of the Revd Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith
CEYLON 071012-1
October 12, 2007

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

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] 
It was with a sense of deep shock and grief that I learnt of the tragic death of Fr Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith. Fr Ranjith, as the people knew him, was a priest who worked with commitment to provide relief and care for the weak and marginalized. He is the latest of the many clergy, of all religions, and humanitarian aid workers who have been senselessly killed. Fr Ranjith was a man of peace who did not lend his support to violence by either the state or non-state actors in the ongoing conflict.

Even though it seems futile to ask for an independent probe into Fr Ranjith's death, his assassination must be condemned. It is a sad and serious reminder to us all that killers are free to pursue their agendas. As long as rhetoric, pointing an accusing finger at the other and denials that we do not have a serious human rights problem here continue, our prospects for integration and peace will deteriorate.

I extend my heartfelt condolences to Bishop Rayappu Joseph, the Jesuit Refugee Service, the Church in Mannar, the members of Fr Ranjith's family and indeed to all clergy and humanitarian aid workers who continue, despite the risks, to serve the people in need.

With Peace and Blessings.

The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo

9th October 2007