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The Gift of New Life
An Easter Message from the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
CEYLON 090408-1
April 8, 2009

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] Easter commemorates the overcoming of the forces of death and destruction by God in Jesus. Consequently it is possible for humans to rise to a new life through Christ that surpasses destruction and death, here and now on earth. This is the Easter message that the Church is called to declare.

The good news of Easter is, therefore, a call to transformation in all our leaders and people. But for this to happen we need to engage in self-scrutiny. As we address and overcome greed and revenge, the quality of life of our nation will be enhanced. We will then be able to eliminate the trends that intimidate, suppress, and dehumanise people and reject all destructive forces that prevent integration and harmony. It is this process of integrity, primarily, that will save us from further social violence and self-destruction; and bring us the renewed political vision, social justice and economic freedom that we so desperately need.

It is then that we will address the plight of Tamil civilians living under severe hardship and constraints in the “no fire” area of the war zone and in IDP camps; as well as those living under social suspicion elsewhere in the country. We will then be free to work for the freedom of movement and right to live anywhere with dignity, of all people.

It is then that the cries of the poor, oppressed in poverty, under-employment, unemployment and in livelihoods threatened with the imminent economic crisis, will be heard. We will then be free to pursue economic justice and decent living standards for all.

It is then that we will value our youth who sacrifice their lives in battle for a cause or for economic reasons. We will then acknowledge their passion, potential and boundless energy and provide them with more creative options for life.

It is then that we will appreciate the freedom of expression and the right to information and democratic dissent. We will then be free to discern attempts to control and intimidate the media and establish good governance and the rule of law.

It is then that our swords will be turned into ploughshares and our guns be converted to tractors. We will then reflect the generosity of God and dare to think of sustainable peace.

May all our people, specially those who long for dignity, freedom and rights; and those who live in fear and want, experience the saving compassion of the Risen Lord.

With peace and blessings to all

The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo
8th April 2009