2006-05-02 15:02:08

Sri Lanka needs outside help, says Apostolic Nuncio

(May2, 2006) The papal representative in Sri Lanka warned of the country's need for the intervention of the international community, so that dialogue not violence, prevails. "As the unbounded solidarity after the tsunami helped us to reconstruct houses and schools, so today, the international community must help to build bridges of dialogue, to again bring the sides closer," said Archbishop Mario Zenari. He was quoted by the Fides agency of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. "The commitment and responsibility of all is urgent ,so as not to let violence and war triumph once again in Sri Lanka," the apostolic nuncio added. High tension continues in the north and east of the island. Violations of the cease-fire signed in 2002 are now commonplace. . According to Fides, over the previous three weeks more than 100 lives have been lost in the escalating violence. Caritas Internationalis, a catholic aid organisation, added its voice to the appeal to the international community . Mediation between "the rebel forces and the Sri Lankan government" is now "a matter of urgency," it stated.in a communiqué issued last Wednesday . In April, Caritas lost two workers -- "just two of the mounting toll of deaths from the recent upsurge in violence," explained Caritas Secretary-General Duncan MacLaren. From June 26-28, Caritas will hold the "Caritas Peace Forum," an international meeting to reflect and propose actions for peacemaking and reconciliation.

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