ASIA/INDIA - Orissa, imminent negotiations for the Italians kidnapped: pressure of the Church and civil society

Bhubaneshwar (Agenzia Fides) - Negotiations for the release of the two Italians kidnapped in Orissa, Francesco Colangelo and Paul Bosusco, are imminent: "It could start tomorrow, as both parties, the government and rebels have declared their willingness and their commitment " says to Fides Fr. Santosh Digal, a priest of the diocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar (in Orissa), sent by the Bishop in the district of Kandhamal, where the two were kidnapped.
The priest tells Fides: "There is strong pressure from the Church and civil society to put an end to this unfortunate incident quickly. The Maoists say they are not against Italy or against foreigners; the government stated its intention to put the maximum effort for the release: the outcome depends on the good will of the parties. We are confident there will be a happy outcome. We continue to pray".
Fides also spoke to His Exc. Mgr. John Barwa, Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, who remarked: "We express solidarity with the families of the two kidnapped and renew our call for their prompt release, on humanitarian basis: they are innocent people that have nothing to do with any claim. " "We hope in the start of a quick negotiation. The important thing is that there is political will to release them: for this we appeal to the Government of Orissa", said Mgr. Barwa. The Archbishop’s analysis also looks at the "the roots of the complex problem of rebellion in Orissa and other parts of India. The tribal people, who are poor, marginalized, underdeveloped, abandoned, are my flock, many of them are Christians. We urge the government to commit themselves for their communities, to ensure dignity, development, and promote economic and cultural rights for all citizens of India. The incident of the kidnapping must be used to start a serious reflection on the status of these populations. The government cannot only make empty claims, but must deal with their conditions of life". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/3/2012)

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