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Bishop attacks Sri Lanka violence: CEN 4.18.08 p 6. April 21, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Church of Ceylon, Church of England Newspaper, Terrorism.

The Bishop of Colombo has called upon all “right minded people” to condemn the murder of a government minister and over a dozen athletes in Sri Lanka’s latest sectarian terror attack.

On April 6 the minister for roads Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was killed in a bomb blast that also took the lives of a number of athletes, coaches and policemen. “A sporting event planned to build community ended with an abrupt and violent shattering of community,” Bishop Duleep de Chickera said.

Fernandopulle (pictured) and 13 others were killed by a bomb that exploded at the start of a marathon outside Colombo. “This is most likely the work of the LTTE [Tamil Tigers],” Bishop de Chickera said, as it “follows closely on the Fort Railway Station Bombing” in which “several young schoolboy sportsmen from D S Senanayake College were killed.”

“The massacre of the innocents anywhere, benefits no just cause and has no place whatsoever in any agenda for dignity and peace for Sri Lankans,” the bishop said, as “such provocative acts of violence spread fear, suspicion and anger. They further widen the gap between our communities and further reduce whatever chances may have existed for peace conversations.”

In January the ceasefire with the rebels collapsed, and fighting between the majority Sinhalese government and Tamil rebels returned. Since 2005 over 8,000 people have died in the fighting and an estimated one million have been displaced.

Bishop de Chickera called upon the government and the rebels to return to the bargaining table and find a negotiated settlement. “No substantial democratic political agenda for peace and development will ever be achieved until this is done,” he said.

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