The Bishop of Mannar, Mgr Rayappu Joseph has called for an international investigation to ascertain the truth about alleged war crimes.
He said: "Given that most of the Tamils in the north and east of
the country no longer have confidence in an internal process. This will
contribute to reconciliation".
Bishop Rayappu Joseph, pointed out that many priests, lawyers,
journalists and activists who have tried to cooperate with the
institutions on the topic of "war crimes" have been threatened and
"On many occasions, the police and the Commission for Human
Rights have even refused to accept complaints", he said. "Thousands of cases of human rights violations, sexual abuse, murder,
disappearances, extrajudicial killings remain unpunished".
ecause of this position taken - while the Sri Lankan government
categorically rejects the idea of an international investigation - the
Bishop has been labelled in some circles as "a political activist", but
Mgr Rayappu replies: "There are too many controversial issues in Sri
Lanka: people who disappear, others arrested and illegally detained,
tortured or killed in prison. I hug, talk and deal with the aspirations
of the faithful who live in my diocese and, more generally , throughout
Sri Lanka. For me it is a human, spiritual and religious mission".
He said: "The people of the North and East still live in fear. The
women live in fear of being raped. Others live in fear that the military
will seize their lands. Many who are in prison live in fear of being
tortured. The common people fear the high level of military presence.
And all those who criticize the government, including representatives of
many churches, live in fear and insecurity".
The Bishop asks: "What need is there to maintain such a high number
of armed forces in the North and East of the island? Why can’t one
completely restore the civil administration in those areas, such as in
the rest of the country?".
Mgr. Rayppu denounces "the colonization sponsored by the state in the
Tamil areas", to create an electoral imbalance and progressively
eliminate the language, the culture and customs of a people.According to
the Bishop, "In Sri Lanka we have a lot to learn from South Africa.
There, the majority was dominated by the minority; in Sri Lanka there is
a majority that dominates a minority. In Sri Lanka, the government,
which is accused of war crimes and massive violations of human rights,
is still in power, and is reluctant to committing itself in genuine