The World Council of Churches (WCC) has strongly appealed to the government of Sri Lanka and the rebel organization the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) "to return to the obligations" of a February 2002 cease fire agreement that both have violated, and to "seek durable solutions to end the fighting that is affecting the lives of so many people".
In an "expression of concern" issued last Friday, WCC general secretary the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia said he was "deeply distressed by the current intensification of fighting" that is causing the "deaths of innocent civilians, military personnel and rebel cadres daily, while the number of abductions, conscription of children, and displacement of people is on the increase".
The violence between governmental forces and LTTE rebels has escalated since the end of 2005. Today, "despite the ensuing humanitarian crisis in the northern and eastern parts of the country, Sri Lanka appears to have been forgotten by the international community", the WCC general secretary suggests. According to reports, more than 200,000 civilians have been displaced in recent weeks.
"The pursuit of a final military solution is an exercise in futility," says Dr Kobia, who calls on the parties to the conflict "to commit themselves to a political solution as the only viable and noble alternative".
Dr Kobia also calls upon Christians and churches around the world "to be constant in prayer for all the people of Sri Lanka," especially for those struggling for peace in the country; this includes the churches, which are "working towards peace, reconciliation and reconstruction".