Respect human rights, resume negotiations, Holy See tells Rajapaksa

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 April 2007, 16:27 GMT]
Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican Cardinal Secretary of State, held a meeting with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Friday, after Pope received Mr. Rajapaksa among the audience. Cardinal Secretary of State, conveying the concerns of the Pope, reiterated to Mr. Rajapaksa, the need to respect human rights and resume the path of dialogue and negotiation as the "only way to put an end to the violence," that is bloodying the island of Sri Lanka.

The Cardinal Secretary of State presides over the Vatican Secretariat of State, the Holy See.

The Holy See Press Office released the following communique Friday, after the meeting:

"Today, April 20, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Mahinda Rajapaksa, president of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The president subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.

"In the course of the talks - and in the light of the current situation in Sri Lanka - the need was reiterated to respect human rights and resume the path of dialogue and negotiation as the only way to put an end to the violence that is bloodying the island. The Catholic Church, which offers a significant contribution to the life of the country, will intensify her delicate task of forming consciences with the sole ambition of favoring the common good, reconciliation and peace."


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