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Road Race Massacre
A Statement by the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
CEYLON 080407-1
April 7, 2008

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] The brutal killing of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, several young athletes, "Marathon Karu", Lakshman de Alwis, the national athletic coach and some security personnel must be condemned without reservation by all right-minded people. A sporting event planned to build community ended with an abrupt and violent shattering of community.

I extend the deepest solidarity and condolences of our Church to all the bereaved. Our Church assures all grieving parents, spouses and children of our prayers. May the God of consolation heal your brokenness and fill you with peace.

This is most likely the work of the LTTE. It follows closely on the Fort Railway Station bombing, in which also several young schoolboy sportsmen from D S Senanayake College were killed. The massacre of the innocents anywhere, benefits no just cause and has no place whatsoever in any agenda for dignity and peace for Sri Lankans.

Such provocative acts of violence spread fear, suspicion and anger. They further widen the gap between our communities and further reduce whatever chances may have existed for peace conversations.

But they can also confront us with the harsh realities of violent human conflict and strengthen our resolve towards an active non-violent resolution of our complex conflict. Sadly, this second option is the one that we as a nation have somehow failed to assert with courage and conviction.

May all peace-loving people of our beloved land even now speak with one voice and strive together to replace violent confrontation with dialogue and negotiations. No substantial democratic political agenda for peace and development will ever be achieved till this is done.

The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo
7th April 2008