Rt. Revd. Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of
Colombo in a statement on the fate and
freedom of civilians caught up in the war,
unreservedly condemned the two recent
incidents of violence unleashed against
innocent and defenceless civilians by the
"The LTTE must immediately stop this
ruthless suppression of Tamil civilians,"
the statement said.
As the war intensifies the LTTE becomes even
more desperate and the chances of civilians
casualties will keep increasing, the Bishop
said. He has outlined four realities that
all Sri Lankans should strive to ensure at
The full text:
"Two recent incidents of violence unleashed
against innocent and defenceless Tamil
civilians by the LTTE must be condemned
unreservedly by peace loving Sri Lankans of
The suicide bomb attack at a checkpoint at
Suthantirapuram killed 10 civilians and 20
soldiers engaged in receiving Tamil
civilians who had crossed over and injured
many more. The deliberate firing at
civilians crossing over from uncleared areas
killed 19 and injured 69.
Many of those affected in both incidents
were helpless children and many of the
injured are said to be in a very critical
These utterly senseless acts are clearly
meant to intimidate the very people the LTTE
claim it wants to liberate and are a brazen
violation of the civilians' right to
movement and life.
The LTTE must immediately stop this ruthless
suppression of Tamil civilians.
I offer the deepest sympathies of our Church
to the relatives of the deceased and the
assurance of our prayers to those who mourn
and are injured.
You are a people that have suffered untold
deprivation and oppression over the years
and it is our prayer that there will soon be
an end to your misery. May the God of
compassion give you strength to face these
terrible tragedies and keep you steadfast in
mercy and hope.
As this war intensifies and the LTTE becomes
even more desperate, the chances of civilian
casualties will keep increasing.
This correspondingly leads to a growing
sense of helplessness amongst all who long
for an end to war and human suffering. In
these circumstances there are four realities
that all Sri Lankans should strive to
a) a demonstration of sorrow that war
requires the daily killing and death of Sri
Lankan combatants, who are none other than
sons and daughters, brothers and sisters.
b) equally intensified and sustained
policies and strategies as a sacred duty
that protects civilians.
c) the democratic space for persons of
religious and ideological conviction,
committed to non-violent methods of dealing
with conflict, to be heard with respect.
d) a prompt and professional programme of
reconstruction accompanied with a return to
civil administration that offers freedom and
dignity to all.
I earnestly invite all communities of our
beloved Sri Lanka to work and pray to keep
these realities alive during these very
difficult and daunting days."