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Sri Lanka: Diocesan official charges government oppression of Tamil minority

Catholic World News - October 22, 2013

The chairman of the justice-and-peace commission in the Diocese of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, has accused the country’s government of systematic violations of the rights of minority Tamils.

Father S.V.B. Mangalarajah said that the policies of Sri Lanka in the wake of a long civil war amount to “structural genocide.” He said that ethnic Tamils have suffered from the seizure of land, coercive population-control measures, the arbitrary and extended detention of political prisoners, lack of protection for women and girls, and other punitive policies. He called for diplomatic pressure from the Vatican to protect the human rights of the minority.

Father Mangalarajah made his argument in a letter to the apostolic nuncio in Sri Lanka, Archbishop Joseph Spiteri. He was responding to an earlier statement by the government, which had made the claim that economic development is easing the suffering of the Tamil population.

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