Christian response to the
humanitarian crisis in Vanni




What is happening?

         What are Christians doing?

      ...
What is happening in the
  Vanni?

• More than 220,000 people are
 displaced in Vanni



• Majority of them since July 2008
• Many have been displaced several
 times

• They flee from place to place, as the
 Sri Lankan army advances
• Several civilians have been
  killed and injured in shelling
  and bombing

• Including babies and children
• Some people live in schools,
 churches and other buildings

• Many live in the open air, on the
 roadside and under trees
• People made desperate pleas to
 foreign staff of UN and International
 aid agencies not to leave them

• But they left b...
• There is no independent international
 witnesses to what is happening in
 the Vanni now (Except ICRC)

• People are at t...
• Food, medicine and shelter materials are
 in short supply due to restrictions imposed
 by the government

• The severe r...
• As of early September, 75 schools
 and about 13,000 children have been
 displaced

• The GCE Advanced level examination
...
• Forced recruitment by the
 LTTE continues
• The LTTE has placed restrictions on
 people to leave from the Vanni to
 government controlled areas

• People also fear ...
• Phones lines in the Vanni have been
 cut

• Families are unable to find out about
 wellbeing and whereabouts of their
 r...
What are
 Christians doing?
• Priests, brothers and sisters continue
 to live with the people in Vanni

• They move with people, as they
 continue to ...
Despite security risks,

• The Bishop of Mannar visited people
 in Vanni in September

• Priests from Mannar diocese also
...
• People in the dioceses of Mannar and
 Jaffna (including Hindus) have
 collected money and sent them to the
 people of Va...
• Church agencies, Caritas and the
 Jesuit Refugee Service has opted to
 remain in Vanni

• This is even after all other U...
• Catholic Bishops of Jaffna and
 Mannar, the Anglican Bishop of
 Colombo and the Catholic Bishops
 Conference of Sri Lank...
• The Holy Childhood program of the
 Archdiocese of Colombo has
 launched a program to raise funds
 which will be utilized...
• Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM)
   – Helps Church leaders from the North in their work to
     help the war affected...
What can we do as Christians?


“I was hungry and you would not feed
   me, thirsty and you would not give
   me a drink.....
• Make financial contributions towards
 the provision of essential items such
 as food, medicine, shelter

 (Difficult to ...
• Organize special prayer services,
 particularly inter-faith and
 ecumenical services

• Organize discussions, exhibition...
Call on the government to:
 – Ensure protection of civilians in Vanni, such as
   by the creation of “safe zones” where no...
Call on the LTTE to:

 – Ensure protection of civilians in the Vanni, particularly by
   not using them as human shields, ...
“I have come to bring good news
to the poor………………….
to set the oppressed free”
(Luke 4:18)


• What would be good news to ...
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08

541 views

Published on

Published in: Spiritual
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
541
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
44
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
5
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Vanni Humanitarian Criss Pp 28sep08

  1. 1. Christian response to the humanitarian crisis in Vanni What is happening? What are Christians doing? What can we do?
  2. 2. What is happening in the Vanni? • More than 220,000 people are displaced in Vanni • Majority of them since July 2008
  3. 3. • Many have been displaced several times • They flee from place to place, as the Sri Lankan army advances
  4. 4. • Several civilians have been killed and injured in shelling and bombing • Including babies and children
  5. 5. • Some people live in schools, churches and other buildings • Many live in the open air, on the roadside and under trees
  6. 6. • People made desperate pleas to foreign staff of UN and International aid agencies not to leave them • But they left based on orders of the Government
  7. 7. • There is no independent international witnesses to what is happening in the Vanni now (Except ICRC) • People are at the mercy of the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE
  8. 8. • Food, medicine and shelter materials are in short supply due to restrictions imposed by the government • The severe restriction on fuel and resulting high prices (1 litre of petrol is about Rs. 1,200) has made it even more difficult for people to move • This had also made it difficult to provide health services and water through bowsers
  9. 9. • As of early September, 75 schools and about 13,000 children have been displaced • The GCE Advanced level examination and Scholarship Exams were held amidst this war • Several hospitals have also been displaced – injured people are there even on the verandas of hospitals
  10. 10. • Forced recruitment by the LTTE continues
  11. 11. • The LTTE has placed restrictions on people to leave from the Vanni to government controlled areas • People also fear to cross to government controlled areas as around 700 people that have fled the Vanni continue to be confined to camps in the Mannar district
  12. 12. • Phones lines in the Vanni have been cut • Families are unable to find out about wellbeing and whereabouts of their relatives • Communication problems also affects the work of Church and aid agencies
  13. 13. What are Christians doing?
  14. 14. • Priests, brothers and sisters continue to live with the people in Vanni • They move with people, as they continue to be displaced from one place to another
  15. 15. Despite security risks, • The Bishop of Mannar visited people in Vanni in September • Priests from Mannar diocese also continue to visit
  16. 16. • People in the dioceses of Mannar and Jaffna (including Hindus) have collected money and sent them to the people of Vanni • In recent visits by the Bishop of Mannar, he had distributed Rs. 2,000,000
  17. 17. • Church agencies, Caritas and the Jesuit Refugee Service has opted to remain in Vanni • This is even after all other UN and International agencies left Vanni after Government refused to guarantee their safety
  18. 18. • Catholic Bishops of Jaffna and Mannar, the Anglican Bishop of Colombo and the Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka had made public appeals • They have called for protection of civilians, easing of restrictions on essential items and involvement of UN, ICRC and a body of inter- religious leaders in implementing protection mechanisms for civilians
  19. 19. • The Holy Childhood program of the Archdiocese of Colombo has launched a program to raise funds which will be utilized to help provide essential needs
  20. 20. • Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM) – Helps Church leaders from the North in their work to help the war affected people – Undertakes solidarity and fact finding visits to Vavuniya – Mannar – Jaffna and meets with Church leaders, specially those who visits and come from Vanni – Compiled a detailed report on the situation in Vanni – this was also featured in local media and sent to international agencies including diplomats and UN officials – Organized a Ecumenical prayer service on the situation in the Vanni and also started to collect money to help the affected people – Is trying to raise awareness amongst people in the south about the situation faced by civilians in Vanni
  21. 21. What can we do as Christians? “I was hungry and you would not feed me, thirsty and you would not give me a drink................. whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me” (Mathew 25:42/45)
  22. 22. • Make financial contributions towards the provision of essential items such as food, medicine, shelter (Difficult to send materials due to government restrictions)
  23. 23. • Organize special prayer services, particularly inter-faith and ecumenical services • Organize discussions, exhibitions and other events to create awareness about the problems faced by civilians • Organize public events, such as vigils, silent protests, marches etc.
  24. 24. Call on the government to: – Ensure protection of civilians in Vanni, such as by the creation of “safe zones” where no attacks will be launched – Ensure access and safety for humanitarian workers, particularly for international agencies and their staff – Easing of restrictions on essential items – Incase people come to government controlled areas, ensure their freedom of movement and respect their choice of place to reside
  25. 25. Call on the LTTE to: – Ensure protection of civilians in the Vanni, particularly by not using them as human shields, stopping forcible recruitment and creating “safe zones” – Cooperate and respect “humanitarian corridors” for movement of displaced people, humanitarian agencies and humanitarian supplies – Ensure freedom of movement for civilians, especially to leave for government controlled areas if they wish to – Ensure access and safety of humanitarian workers, particularly local staff – Ensure respect for humanitarian supplies and assets
  26. 26. “I have come to bring good news to the poor…………………. to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18) • What would be good news to the people in Vanni today? • What can I / we do to bring that good news?

×