Jaffna Church body says Tamils denied justice even now

Commission President Father S.V.B. Mangalarajah wants Vatican to exert political pressure on the government of Sri Lanka for an equitable political solution in the post-civil war.

Sri Lanka
Oct 25 2013, 5:22 PM
Jaffna Church body says Tamils denied justice even now

Atrocities against Tamilians in Sri Lanka were continuing despite the recent elections, the Commission for Justice and Peace of the diocese of Jaffna has alleged in a complaint to the Apostolic Nunciature and Bishops of the country.

Commission President Father S.V.B. Mangalarajah wants Vatican to exert political pressure on the government of Sri Lanka for an equitable political solution in the post-civil war.

He said that some basic issues of the Tamil people, ethnic minorities living in the north and east of the island, remain unresolved. The region had recently held elections and a Tamilian was sworn in as the Chief Minister.

But Father Mangalarajah said 90% lands of Tamil civilians were confiscated by the Lankan army during the civil war but have not been returned to rightful owners. Even the Catholic Church has lost three parishes with numerous churches, chapels and schools. Coastal land was arbitrarily confiscated and given to military or civil servants to build luxury resorts or residents, to the detriment of local fishermen, he alleged.

He alleged there was coercive population control of Tamilians. Many Catholic women in Kilinochchi district are forcefully implanted with birth control tools.

The priest also said there has to be accountability for human rights violations during the final stages of the war in 2009. His statement called for justice "for the killing of thousands of innocent civilians.” There has to be an international investigation on the missing people, use of cluster bombs and chemical weapons."

He said thousands of Tamil political prisoners were languishing in state prisons, some for over 15 years. Civilians, women, the elderly, the sick, often accused of having served food for Tamil guerrillas were arrested.

In Vanni region, Tamil families live in constant fear as sexual abuses by the military go unpunished. The Justice and Peace Commission statement also denounced the, “ethnic, cultural and religious colonization", sponsored by the government, by bringing in Sinhalese settlers in historically Tamil areas.

The statement said the government heavily influenced the elections to the local provincial council and continues to censor the media and all forms of dissent with intimidation, ignoring a path of "Justice, peace and reconciliation".

Source: Agenzia Fides

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