Negotiations, sole path to peace in Sri Lanka- Pope

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 January 2008, 17:23 GMT]
“Pope has a special place for the people of Sri Lanka in his heart and in his Christmas message he did mention the need to seek peace through negotiation in Sri Lanka by all parties concerned,” Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Mario Zinari, the Papal representative for Sri Lanka said in an event Wednesday in Jaffna handing over 150 houses built by HUDEC to Tsunami victims, sources in Jaffna said. Rev. Harlold Anthony, Bishop of Galle Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundranayagam, Bishop of Jaffna and Jaffna Government Agent, K. Ganesh took part in the event, the sources added.

“Pope has never failed to stress the need to find a peaceful solution through negotiation on all Sri Lanka related emissaries seeking audience with him,” the Papal representative added.

“Permanent peace free of war should be achieved through negotiation and all parties should engage in meaningful talks,” he further said.

Rev. Harold Anthony, the Bishop of Galle said that Tsunami relief efforts should serve as a link bridging the people in the South and North and that he could understand the true feelings of the people of Jaffna peninsula.

“Constructive results could only be realized through dedicated efforts by all concerned,” he said.

“Foreign diplomats, ministers and their staff travel in bullet proof vehicles in Colombo while persons like us looking after the needs of the poor manage to serve using ordinary means of travel,” the Bishop of Galle mentioned in his speech.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundranayagam, Bishop of Jaffna said in his speech residents of coastal villages in Jaffna, particularly the people of Ma’natkaadu, had to suffer due to the disinterest of the high government officials handling the rehabilitation projects.

When HUDEC offered to build houses for the Tsunami vicitims of Ma’natkaadu the officials had not encouraged the move saying that other international and local NGOs were ready to build houses, and now those NGOs have left the peninsula and it is the affected people who are the losers, Jaffna Bishop further said.

HUDEC is a partner organization of SEDEC (Social & Economic Development) Caritas – Sri Lanka, which is the main body of Caritas Organizations in Sri Lanka, and networks with 13 sister organizations of Caritas in each district.

Though a number of other Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) commenced reconstruction of Tsunami affected homes in Vadamaraadchi East and Vadamaraadchi North, many of the NGOs later abandoned the projects while only a handful of organizations including HUDEC continued to complete the construction.


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