IRAP commemorates International Peace Day in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 September 2006, 05:10 GMT]
The International Peace Day was held in Batticaloa Thursday organized by the Inter-Religious Association for Peace (IRAP) of the district. Rt. Rev. Dr. Kingsley Swampillai, the Bishop of Batticaloa- Trincomalee Diocese, Rev. Mahendran of Methodist Ministry, Swami Ajaratmanandaji, the Head of Ramakrishna Mission, Batticaloa branch, Moulavi Al-Hajj I.L.M. Mustafa Bahiji, Ven. Ampitiya Sumanaratne Thero, the chief monk of the Mangalaramaya in Batticaloa. Hundreds of civilians participated in this event.

International Peace Day in Batticaloa


The Peace March, started at the St. Mary's Church, Thandavanvely with special prayers went through the Methodist Church, Buddhist Shrine, Batticaloa Mosque and ended at Anaippanthy Pillayar Kovil where memoranda addressed to Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the UN, the President of Sri Lanka and other Political party leaders, were handed over to Ms. Valeria, the District Coordinator of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

International Peace Day in Batticaloa


At the end of the Peace March, a monument, a Pillar of Peace, was declared open by all the four religious dignitaries in the Batticaloa Public Library compound.

"Ever since the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2002, and the subsequent Cease Fire Agreement brought into effect, we [the people of Batticaloa] have experienced a continuous cold war, endangering the very CFA itself," said a joint-message signed by the religious leaders of all faith.

"Now it has reached unprecedented proportion inflicting untold hardships on our people."

"On account of this intermittent and contiuous breaking of the Cease Fire Agreement by both parties involved, hundreds of people have lost their lives, many more have been abducted, and thousands have been rendered paupers by the loss of their properties, and made refugees in their own place of birth," the joint statement said.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Kingsly Swampillai, the Bishop of Batticaloa- Trincomalee Diocese addressing the media said: "If the people suffer so when the CFA is on force, it cannot be imagined what would happen when the CFA is broken and a full-scale war starts again."

"As a people who have witnessed starvation and mayhem, we appeal to all the institutions that are against war to take necessary steps to end the war," he further said.

 

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