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A Statement on the Safe Zones from a Group of Bishops
Submitted by the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
CEYLON 090122-1
January 22, 2009

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] We welcome the Sri Lankan military initiative to set up safe zones for civilians in the uncleared area of the Wanni, as reported in the media. This is an absolutely essential provision that will protect and save the lives of numerous civilians.

We consequently call upon the LTTE to reciprocate and demonstrate its concern for these civilians by enabling the people to use this life-saving initiative.

We further request the GoSL to make the safe zone even more viable by inviting the ICRC, UNHCR and independent Tamils such as religious leaders, professionals and counsellors to help facilitate this process.

We assure all of our continuing prayers and efforts for greater trust amongst the communities and a non-violent and just Sri Lanka for all.

With peace and blessings

The Rt. Rev Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo
22nd January 2009

On behalf of:
The Rt. Revd Thomas Savundranayagam, Roman Catholic Bishop of Jaffna
The Rt. Revd Rayappu Joseph, Roman Catholic Bishop of Mannar
The Rt. Revd Norbert Andradi, Roman Catholic Bishop of Anuradhapura
The Rt. Revd Kumara Ilangasinghe, Anglican Bishop of Kurunegala
The Rt. Revd. Duleep de Chickera , Bishop of Colombo