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A Statement by the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
CEYLON 080609-1
June 9, 2008

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] Over the past fortnight, we have had four senseless acts of violence targeting innocent civilians travelling in public transport. The bomb/claymore mine attacks at Dehiwala, Moratuwa and Polgolla were indiscriminate and have every appearance of having been planned and executed by the LTTE. I extend the sympathies and assurance of the prayers of our Church to the families of all those affected by these incidents. May God in God's mercy provide you with strength to face the loss of loved ones.

These attacks achieve nothing except to create a mood of anger in the minds of the people and to further distance our communities from each other. It will be callous and totally unacceptable if indeed the intention of these acts was to create such a mood and climate among the people in the south. Whatever their motive, these actions will only be counter-productive, pushing the prospect of a just and honourable political settlement further away. The deliberate targeting of innocent civilians going about their day's work must stop immediately.

I urge all parties to remain calm. Ethnic relations are fast spinning out of control in our country and exacerbate the economic hardships already faced by our people. I urge the Government and the Opposition to show greater political discernment and maturity to pull our country from this brink. I also urge the LTTE to collaborate with any and all steps towards peace.

With Peace and Blessings.

The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo
9th June 2008