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Spiralling Violence
A Statement by the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
CEYLON 080110-1
January 10, 2008

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] The assassination of Parliamentarian DM Dassanayake and his MSD bodyguard Mr Ratnayake adds to the long and unending list of utterly senseless killings that continue to engulf us and must be condemned. In today's chaotic culture of contending power struggles, this could well be the work of any one of the several armed groups that operate with impunity. Yet, the greater probability is that it is the work of the LTTE.

We offer our Church's condolences and prayers to the families of Mr Dassanayake and Mr Ratnayake. May the God of consolation share your burden of grief and deliver us all, victim and perpetrator, from this brutal cycle of violence. We also offer our prayers for a speedy recovery of the several other MSD personnel and civilians who were injured.

The abrogation of the CFA, the desperation of the LTTE and imminent elections in the East will clearly lead to a further escalation of violence in the Country. We are fast heading towards the option of chaos and destruction that only the few on both sides who manipulate our political destiny do not seem to mind.

Recent events such as the assassination of Mr Mahesweran and the intimidation, now, of media personnel connected with the State-controlled media, reveal that the enemy has always been dissent, no matter from where or whom. As one source of dissent, community or group is dealt with, the next will be taken on.

We must all take responsibility for this trend that threatens to swallow all that stands in its way. None, either within this culture in North or South, who imagined they could draw a line and share the spoils with clean hands, or outside this culture in North and South, who imagined they could draw a line and complain that the "others'" hands are dirty and then do nothing, can be exonerated. A people receive a political culture that they have, one way or the other, created.

Our strongest hope for a return to normalcy and peace is a collective people's return to common sense. All is not well. The signs are clear. Yet, may we never give up hope for our beloved Sri Lanka. May we return to our senses and pray and work for peace through change. May the God of creation and change encourage our visions of peace and inspire and accompany us.

The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo 10th January 2008