ASIA/SRI LANKA - The Church: Justice, the path to reconciliation

Tuesday, 16 February 2016 reconciliation   war crimes  

Colombo (Agenzia Fides) - "The path of Justice is important to reach authentic reconciliation in Sri Lanka": says to Agenzia Fides Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando, head of social communications in the Archdiocese of Colombo. "We have no problems on the interest of the United Nations and we hope it can help the process of searching for truth and justice in our country", notes the priest, commenting on the visit to the island of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. The purpose of the Commissioner's visit is to verify the application of the UN resolution on the promotion of reconciliation and human rights in the country.
"We have confidence in the national judicial institutions and we ask local courts to judge crimes" said Fr. Fernando. On the delicate issue of "war crimes" committed by the Sinhalese army in the last phase of the civil war with the Tamil minority, which lasted over 30 years, the country is divided: on the one hand civil society activists tell of the suffering of the Tamil population and impunity for the perpetrators of the massacres; on the other hand some nationalist groups protested, challenging the UN resolution and the intervention of "external institutions".
However Fr. Fernando is confident: "After three decades of conflict, now there is an air of freedom and there are no fears to express different opinions. We believe that justice is an important process as a prelude to profound reconciliation and to heal the wounds of war. There are still thousands of displaced families in the north of the country, awaiting justice and assistance. The Church is close to them and works for reconciliation". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 16/02/2016)