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The Freedom to Life and Liberty for all Citizens
A Statement by the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
CEYLON 080527-1
May 27, 2008

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] 
Over the past week, we have been sad and helpless witnesses to abductions, extra-judicial killings and bomb and claymore mine attacks that deliberately targeted civilians. In the last category were the senseless acts of violence that resulted in the tragic loss of several lives in a train at the Dehiwala Railway Station and of a vanload of members of an extended family in the Murikandy area of the Vanni. I extend my condolences and that of my Church to all those affected by these acts of brutality.

Nothing can justify the taking away of any life, whether of civilians, parties in the war or of political leaders. They achieve nothing and serve only to move the country away from a resolution of the conflict that now threatens to destroy us. I urge the President, even at this late stage, to negotiate with the TNA, SLMC and other parties representing the minorities in Parliament and, together with the major national parties, present to the country a political proposal that meets just minority grievances.

This is the only way to avoid the meaningless loss of lives, ensure the freedom to life and liberty for all our citizens and forge a national consensus for a sustainable and just peace in our country.

With Peace and Blessings.

The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo
27th May 2008