Monday 9 March 2009
Brisbane’s Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace has called on the Australian Government to work with other Commonwealth nations to put an end to the on-going conflict between Government forces and Tamil rebels in the north of Sri Lanka.
The long-running conflict has trapped between 100000 and 200000 civilians in the bloody battle zone and has caused thousands of deaths and injuries and a humanitarian crisis of significant proportions.
The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that Sri Lankans are distressed by the relative silence of the international community on this human tragedy.
“Our sister Commission for Justice and Peace in the Diocese of Jaffna has expressed its concern at the failure of world leaders and major organisations to speak out about the horrible violence, death and human suffering,” Mr Arndt said.
“This dreadful situation has not attracted the same attention as the human rights abuses suffered by the people of Burma and Tibet in the last year,” he said.
“The silence and inaction must stop so that the suffering of our Sri Lankan sisters and brothers can stop,” he said.
The Brisbane Commission is calling on Catholics to join it in sending messages to the Federal Government, local MPs and Senators calling for urgent action to end this human tragedy.
It has also asked Catholics to pray constantly for peace in Sri Lanka.
“We must do what we can to support our Sri Lankan sisters and brothers in this time of enormous suffering,” Mr Arndt said.
“We know that our sister Commission in Jaffna has worked hard with their prayers, rallies for peace, fasts and public statements and we will do what we can to support them,” he said.
For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.
NB This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Charter which enables it to speak in its own right. The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.
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