Govt accountable, whatever the provocations: Bishop Chickera

Anglican Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera says the incident at Kathiraveli-Panichchankerni in the Eastern Province, which killed scores and injured several hundred civilians, has sent further shock waves through the nation.

While condemning the incident, Bishop Chickera said that even as arguments and explanations are offered from all sides, reports received seem to indicate that the armed forces must be held accountable, whatever the provocations.

“The persons affected were civilians, amongst whom there are several children and elderly persons. This community fled the violence in Mutur/Sampur a few months ago. They are always in situations of war and violence, the poor and several times displaced, who have nowhere to rest their heads. I offer the condolences and prayers of our Church to the injured and the families of the bereaved,” he said.

The Bishop says the Government must take note of the continuing human suffering caused by violent aggression and make a deliberate shift to a non violent dialogical approach as the best chance of resolving this sad and bitter conflict.

The Anglican Bishop also said that the LTTE must change its illusive stance and reciprocate, as the people are weary of war and tired of excuses, with the parties rejecting strategies of talking peace and pursuing violence by all sides.

”The religions of our country demand this shift and provide a spirituality to facilitate it. The immense goodwill and advocacy from the international community, the general public and civil society groups in Sri Lanka, offer additional resources for this shift. To disregard the potential in these pro life forces and opt for meaningless aggression, justified with political rhetoric, will only plunge the country into far more acute human suffering and immeasurable destruction,” the Bishop said. []

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