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Our Sad and Worsening Tragedy
A Statement by the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
CEYLON 080428-1
April 28, 2008

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] Last evening's bomb explosion in a bus at Piliyandala, which killed twenty-four civilians and left many injured, is an act of vicious violence and must be condemned. Once again, the finger points to the LTTE.

The recent killing of a Roman Catholic priest, Revd. Fr Karunairatnam in Ambalkulam in the Vanni, was another tragedy in this never ending conflict and must also be condemned. His killing could well have been the work of a military deep penetration unit, now known to operate within these areas.

Reports of fierce military confrontations and aerial bombings in the Vanni have caused and continue to cause very heavy casualties amongst soldiers and cadres on both sides. Every life destroyed is a totally unnecessary death of a son or daughter of our soil. Whether soldiers or cadres or civilians, these are our people who are being killed in a senseless war being fought by those with little political will to resolve our crisis through negotiations.

I express the condolences and prayers of our Church to all Sri Lankans in the North and South who grieve at the loss of loved ones. May the risen Lord, who shares human grief, sustain us through life.

The impact of the conflict also has serious repercussions on the cost of living, which has now reached a crisis stage. The modest and the poor simply cannot make ends meet, and the Government must hear the cries of the people and bring immediate relief. Good governance has everything to do with ensuring the dignity of people and feeding and protecting them. It calls for steering us away from death to life.

Most Sri Lankans view these happenings with utmost concern. We sense a daily worsening and widening of the crisis but are helpless to intervene or conditioned not to do so.

I once again plead with the President and leadership of all political parties to put an end to our differences and to address the sufferings of all our people. We still have able leaders and the necessary skills to work for peace. Please think and speak differently and initiate and nurture practical non-violent steps towards a lasting solution. All communities will walk with you and our children will call you blessed.

With peace and blessings to all

The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo
26th April 2008