Pray for Sri Lanka on Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Sri Lanka: Mark 9:2-9

Please pray for an immediate cease-fire, peace and reconciliation between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The following are excerpts of e-mails from partners on the ground with specific prayer information:

            You may be aware that Sri Lanka recently 'celebrated' 60 years of 'independence'. I wish to bring to your kind information that we are going through a very bad period in the history of our nation and seek your prayers for guidance, wisdom, patience, tolerance and understanding at this critical time.

            The ethnic conflict that was unresolved since 'independence' has taken away many lives since 1958. In 1983 after the ethnic clashes many Tamils migrated to South India and other parts of the country. With the experiences of frustration, LTTE waged war to get a separate state and it had been continuing on and off since 1983. Various efforts taken for a negotiated settlement have failed due to many reasons. The Cease Fire Agreement signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE in February 2002 was abrogated early this year. The hostilities have escalated. Aerial bombings in the North continue, claymore mines go off killing many innocent civilians in many parts of the country including the South. People are arrested and detained. Freedom of expression is curtailed. Journalists are harassed. People live in fear. It is a volatile situation. Life has been desecrated.

  Please remember the people, and the leaders of our weeping and bleeding land. Please also pray for sanity, justice and peace.

Jayasiri Peiris - General Secretary of the National Christian Council in Sri Lanka

You all are aware of the situation in Vanni. The Government of Sri Lanka is not listening to the request made by several humanitarian organizations to stop the ongoing war in Vanni.  Nearly 300,000 thousand people are encircled by the Sri Lankan Forces in a small area of land (Approximately 20KM X 30 KM) and continuously attacking the area with mortars, artillery and ariel bombarding.  Within last week alone more than 1000 people were killed and another 1500 are injured.  They do not have facilities and medicines for medical treatment.  The Government announced a place as safety zone and when people assembled there, they bombed that place.  No one can do any thing to save the innocent people.  Only our God Almighty can intervene in this regard.  Let us all unite and pray to our God to save these people from their suffering.

Rev.A.Jeyakumaran - The Jaffna Region of the Church of the American Ceylon Mission

"UN Evacuates Civilians in Sri Lanka" (The Boston Globe, Page A3, Jan. 30) only begins to tell the story of the growing number of civilian casualties from Sri Lanka's escalating violence.  As a member of a non-profit organization with historic ties to Christian educational programs in the nation's northern Jaffna region, I am alarmed by reports from local church leaders and colleagues of a civilian population in crisis, squeezed by the opposing forces, especially within a shrinking "safe refuge" in the northeastern Wanni area. On Wednesday, a local pastor who manages a Home for Girls and a Day Care Center was injured by aerial bombing. Primary school girls at Uduvil Girls' College (Jaffna) who are from the Wanni region are frantically worried for the safety of their families, from whom they have had no word. The innocent, including children, are suffering the price of this horrific war. Church leaders from northern Sri Lanka are calling for an immediate cessation of violence and a return to a ceasefire between the government forces and the LTTE. On Sunday morning, Feb. 1,  many of the Protestant churches in Sri Lanka's Jaffna district held an hour of prayer, a vigil in support of those internally displaced by the violence. My prayers joined with theirs and with those in a circle of concern worldwide who are dismayed by this tragic war.

Phil Braudaway-Bauman, president of the Trustees of Jaffna College Funds

Global Ministries International Partners in Sri Lanka:

  • Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS) has co-sponsored a Joint Women's Program with the William Carey Study and Research Center.  This program has attempted to address the issues of communal harmony; growing violence against women and children; economic policies particularly as they impact women; and the JWP has lobbied the government on these and other issues related to women.
  • Church of American Ceylon Mission
  • Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue (EISD) is dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and cooperation among members of the various religious traditions represented in Sri Lanka.  The Study Center building is used by a number of church-related organizations and other institutions to provide accommodation for participants involved in Study Programs.  The endowment fund enables the EISD to continue developing and offering opportunities for programs that will promote respectful and cooperative relationships among differing faith traditions.
  • House for Hope, Sri Lanka is a Leper Colony which provides a home, treatment and hope for those battling leprosy.
  • Jaffna College has been serving the people of Sri Lanka for over 175 years.  The College provides the opportunity for a good quality education to youth who would not otherwise have this opportunity.  The Jaffna College Technical Institute offers technical training in air conditioning and refrigeration; automobile technology; mechanical engineering; electronics and telecommunications; civil engineering and quality surveying; electrical engineering; and computer programming and information processing.  From 2003 to 2005, Global Mission Intern Diane Faires taught at the College.
  • Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India. The Christian communities of Sri Lanka are members of the Church of South India.  The Jaffna Diocese is their local body of church governance.  The Jaffna Diocese has been challenged for many years to find ways of promoting peace in a country torn by war.  More recently they have been challenged to respond to the devastation of the tsunami.  Much of the government's relief delivery has been directed to serve the Sinhalese population.  Tamils, in the north and northeast have been in conflict with the Sinhalese for over twenty years and the tensions are still high.  Global Ministries support for tsunami relief in Sri Lanka has been directed to the Jaffna Diocese for assisting these Tamil Communities which are not being served by the government relief programs.
  • National Christian Council of Sri Lanka has been involved in interfaith dialogues, theological education and rehabilitation in the midst of the civil war.  They are now developing their capacity to address the HIV/AIDS crisis.The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka has been involved in interfaith dialogues, theological education and rehabilitation in the midst of the civil war.  They are now developing their capacity to address the HIV/AIDS crisis.
  • Uduvil Girls College was created to provide educational opportunities for Tamil girls who were getting only minimal education.  It is now 175 years old and still dedicated to promoting the education and cultural advancement opportunities for girls.  Missionary Grace Bunker has recently retired after serving at Uduvil for 4 years.

Global Ministries Missionary in Sri Lanka:

None at the present time