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Church of Ceylon
(Extra-provincial to Archbishop of Canterbury)
Towards a Free and Integrated Nation
The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo
CEYLON 100118-1
January 18, 2010

A message for Independence Day

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] My message to the Nation this year is in the form of a prayer that was written some years ago. It is a prayer that is often used in our Churches when Christians gather to worship God. Prayers that are thoughtfully repeated have been known to change peoples attitudes and values.

Whatever the result of the Presidential election, the period ahead calls for National healing and reconciliation which can only begin with a change in the inner person. Otherwise, economic development will inevitably cater to excessive greed and political engagement will inevitably be understood as the accumulation and manipulation of power and consequently healing and reconciliation will continue to elude us.

This prayer envisages an integrated and free Sri Lanka; and also offers a choice of values that will give us such a Nation. As such it is both a vision and a way. It is a plea to God; as well as a cry for a higher quality of life. It is Christian; but also inclusive enough to appeal to our sisters and brothers of all faiths.

A Prayer for Sri Lanka

O God the Creator of all Humankind,
look with mercy upon our Country
and in your great goodness, give us the peace and justice and unity we long for.
Restrain those who plan evil
and encourage those who work for the common good.
Protect those who live in danger
and those whose duty exposes them to harm.
Uphold those who suffer
and strengthen those who are afraid.
Resettle those who are displaced
and transform all those who pursue their cause by violence.
And temper O Lord,
the lifestyles of all our people,
with simplicity, courage, humility and love for the truth,
through Him who gave His life for us,
even Jesus Christ our Lord.

With Peace and Blessings to all

Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo
18th January 2010