Archbishop of Canterbury accepts Colombo's military action

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 May 2007, 17:46 GMT]
The head of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has gone on record Friday as saying it was “inevitable” that Sri Lanka was launching “surgical military action against terrorism.” Archbishop Rowan Williams told the BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya, he hoped this action would lead to an opening of communication between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers. The Archbishop concluded a 3-day visit to Sri Lanka earlier this week.

"It is undoubtedly inevitable that what you might call surgical military action against terrorism should take place", Archbishop Williams said.

The Archbishop said that he hoped and prayed that military action would lead to an opening of communication between the government and the Tamil Tigers.

SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa shaking hands with Archbishop Rowan Williams, Rohitha Bogollagama the SL Foreign Minister and Douglas Devandanda, leader of EPDP paramilitary group and SL Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare standing beside.


"But we all hope and pray that that will lead not to ...victory for one, defeat for another, but to an opening of communication, a re-establishment of the possibilities for civil society to develop", he said.

The Archbishop told journalists in Colombo, the government’s military solution to the problems of the country "increasingly appears to be no solution".

In a press release before leaving for Sri Lanka, the Archbishop said: “Sri Lanka is a place in which conflict and violence has become a reflexive response to political difficulty.”

Meanwhile, the Mahanayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist clergy, told the Archbishop that religious leaders should keep away from interfering into state affairs in war situations.

The Most Ven.Udugama Sri Buddharakkhita Thero told the Archbishop it is a section of the people in north and east that had launched a rebellion against the government demanding a part of the country.

“The Sri Lankan government is engaged in a war to control this situation. We are neutral in that respect and our hopes are for peace”, the Mahanayaka Thero said in comments reported on Sandeshaya.


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