Three things Sri Lanka’s government must do to ensure peace
19 May 2009
Caritas says that the Sri Lanka government needs to bring peace to the country now that war is over through a series of short and long term measures.
Patients taking safety measures during shell attack at Mullivaikkal hospital
These are to:
Caritas is providing food for over 11,089 people, in seven camps in Jaffna and some 21,071 in Mannar. However, Caritas says the camps do not meet international standards on security and living conditions, and traumatized families remain divided.
Caritas says the next step is to ensure that people who have been forced from their homes are allowed to return as soon as possible. Once there, war victims must receive significant support in rebuilding their lives.
Caritas Sri Lanka’s Executive Director Fr Damian Fernando has visited the camps. He said, “We need to see an urgent improvement in the conditions in the camps. People in them don’t have the food, medical supplies, and the security they need. Although Caritas is able to provide food and other aid, we need to be able to operate with greater freedom so that all needs are met. Families must be reunited.
“The government needs to take the initiative to speed up its plans to resettle the people in the camps back to their homes. Many have been moved ten times in the course of the fighting. They’re deeply traumatised and have gone through unimaginable horrors. Once home, they’ll need support in rebuilding their lives.
“Caritas welcomes the end to the fighting. We will never have a just peace in Sri Lanka however without the needs of all its people being addressed. Every Sri Lankan must have an equal right to development, freedom of expression, and safety. Caritas will do all it can to bring about reconciliation through its peace building activities. All sides must now overcome divisions and look to a future built on co-existence.”
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