Colombo (Fides Service) – Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate OMI in Colombo and Jaffna have called for world wide prayers for peace in Sri Lanka. The Missionaries voiced to Fides Service their concern over the present national institutional crisis and ask international support for the peace process and prayers of Catholics all over the world.
The Oblate Missionaries are the most numerous in Sri Lanka with 300 members in two OMI Provinces: Colombo in the south and Jaffna in the north, an area under control of the LTTE Tamil rebels. For 17 years during the civil war it was difficult, and at times impossible, for the members of these Provinces to communicate. Since the cease fire agreement was reached in February contact has intensified and missionaries now find it easier to promote reconciliation and peace with more co-ordinated activity at the cultural level and also to provide assistance for war victims.
The OMI Provinces guided by Father Oswald Firth and Father Paul Jeevendra are united in a campaign to support the peace process and to increase awareness among the people. They have also begun special therapy for people suffering from psychological trauma due to years of civil conflict, especially children and young people in the Jaffna area who have known nothing but war as a daily experience.
(PA) (Fides Service 5/11/2003 lines 22 words 228)