India, International community must act to deliver peace- Bishop
[TamilNet, Monday, 01 January 2007, 00:01 GMT]
Rt. Rev. Thomas Soundaranayagam, the Bishop of Jaffna, in his New Year message, said that the International Community, in the dawn of the New Year, should, with India's active participation, positively assert itself with new vigor and put forward a just and fair solution to resolve the ethnic conflict. "This is the only New Year request I am placing in front of the International Community, when war clouds gather over Tamil areas, starvation threatens to engulf the Tamil people, spectre of infectious deceases spreading amidst shortage of medicines looms in the horizon, and fear and anxiety grips the Tamil people as they live day-to-day," the Bishop said.
"For my people in this predicament, I pray for a peaceful, secure, and a happy New Year, for all the Tamils of Sri Lanka. My heart rejoices to be able to bless my people for a life with full freedom on the dawn of 2007.
"Pope Benedict in his Christmas massage to Sri Lanka had expressed concern over for the option of war instead of peace talks to solve the problems of Sri Lanka and had requested the conflicting parties to solve the issue adopting peaceful means.
"Peace is not only a blessing bestowed on us but an obligation assigned to each of us, and therefore we are obliged to fulfill this duty with due awareness."
"It is the duty of every individual interested in World Peace to pray and work hard for a just and permanent peace to flower in our country," the Bishop said in his New Year message.
In Vatican's official English-language translation of Pope Benedict XVI's "Urbi et Orbi" Christmas Day address, delivered in Italian from the balcony in St. Peter's Basilica, December 25, 2006, the Pope had said "I pray to God that in Sri Lanka the parties in conflict will heed the desire of the people for a future of brotherhood and solidarity."