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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2992

President met Jaffna , Mannr Bishops: Solicited cooperation to stamp out escalating violence

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Colombo, 31 May, ( President Mahinda Rajapaksa met Catholic bishops from Jaffna and Mannar to discuss the escalating violence against civilians and urged the bishops to encourage the local public to build a rapport with local law enforcement officials.

“The President condemned the attacks on civilians on all ethnic groups. He requested the local bishops to encourage people to seek help from police and security forces when their basic rights were violated,” said a Presidential aide at the Presidents Office.

President Rajapaksa told Bishops that the public could direct such complaints and information to the Peace Secretariat if problems are encountered in giving the same to the Police or the Security Forces.

He also urged the Bishops to report any difficulties faced by local population due to the excesses of security forces or due to any other reason.

Rev. Fr. Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar, and Rev. Fr. Thomas Saundaranayagam, Bishop of Jaffna met the President Rajapaksa today morning.

“The President said he was worried by the killing of 13 civilians on Monday by the LTTE and the killing of another seven civilians in the Willpattu jungles on Saturday. He said the government was committed to the truce agreement and want the LTTE to return to negotiation table,” said the presidential aide referring to the President’s discussions with the Bishops.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday appealed to the Bishops of Jaffna and Mannar to get public cooperation to expedite the investigations into violence against civilians in the North-East.

The Bishops stressed the importance of ensuring ethnic harmony and peace in their areas. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Plan Implementation Secretary Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Peace Secretariat Chief Dr. Palitha Kohona, Chief of Defence Staff Daya Sandagiri and Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda were also present.

- Asian Tribune -

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