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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2793

Caritas Australia, Australian government hopeful of Pope's mediation for resumption of talks

Colombo, 20 April, (Asiantribune.com): "We welcome the opportunity for a return to peace initiated by the Pope, in his meeting with the President of Sri Lanka", said Jack de Groot, Chief Executive Officer of Caritas Australia on Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse's visit to Italy to receive an audience from His Holiness Benedict XVI.“We see the initiative of the Catholic Church to invite President Rajapakse to meet with Pope His Holiness Benedict XVI.as highly significant", Mr de Groot of Caritas Australia “We see the initiative of the Catholic Church to invite President Rajapakse to meet with Pope His Holiness Benedict XVI.as highly significant", Mr de Groot of Caritas Australia

"Where talk of peace in Sri Lanka is seen as grounds for treason amongst some protagonists in the conflict, we see the initiative of the Catholic Church to invite President Rajapakse to meet with the Pope as highly significant", Mr de Groot of Caritas Australia emphasised.

Caritas Australia's partners in Sri Lanka work with all affected communities across the country, to provide refuge and shelter, basic food and water supplies, work opportunities, education and health for displaced families fleeing in fear from fighting.

Caritas Australia through its partners Caritas-HUDEC and Caritas EHED are active in assisting more than 10,000 families (over 66,000 people) throughout the country.

"The Australian Government needs to be vigilant as to the outcomes of this papal initiative. A revitalized peace process would be of great benefit. Australia is independent and well regarded and can play a pivotal role in encouraging the Sri Lankan Government to accept a UN auspiced human rights monitoring mission.

UN Monitors on the ground in Sri Lanka will affect the behavior of all parties to the conflict, thereby protecting lives. A number of states already promote the monitoring mission and Australia's active involvement would encourage the USA, India and other key states to support the initiative", said Mr de Groot.

Caritas Australia is calling on the Sri Lankan Government to cease the culture of impunity for human rights violations.

All parties need to urgently address the issues of child soldiers, disappearances, ongoing armed conflict, intimidation of media, academics and all peace proponents, limits to freedom of expression and religious vilification.

- Asian Tribune -

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