Education, human rights: Catholic Bishops express grave concernSeptember 5, 2012, 12:00 pm
The Catholics Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL) yesterday urged the government to take remedial action to rectify shortcomings in the education sector. In a strongly-worded statement jointly issued by CBCSL Secretary General Norbert M. Andradi OMI and CBCSL President Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Church emphasized the urgent need to address serious issues confronting the country.
Full text of the statement: "The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL), gathered in its Plenary Session in Colombo, is concerned about some of the issues that seem to create a sense of loss in human and religious values in our society.
The Conference learnt among other matters that in the recent past certain prisoners have been subjected to inhuman attacks causing them serious bodily injury, hospitalization and even death while in custody. International law dictates that all prisoners should be treated with dignity and that their safety must be ensured.
The CBCSL wishes to condemn such atrocities in the strongest possible terms. According to Christian faith all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27). Hence, they must be treated with dignity and respect at all times. It is also the unique responsibility of the government to deal with prisoners in keeping with their human dignity and the demands of international law while guaranteeing their safety at all times.
The CBCSL is also very much concerned about the controversial situation affecting education in the country. There are grave concerns and increasing dissatisfaction about the manner of conducting examinations. Our universities have been closed for a considerable period. Students have been expressing their frustration in this regard. The university lecturers have expressed their concerns which too have to be settled.
The Catholic Bishops urge the government and those involved to address these issues without delay mindful of the fact that the students are the worst affected as a result of these conflicts. Hence normalcy should be restored as a matter of urgency for the good of the education of our children.
The farmers of the North Central Province and elsewhere too have their concerns pertaining to the serious difficulties they experience as a result of not being able to properly engage in the cultivation of rice the country requires. These concerns of the farmers too must be given urgent and patient attention.
Last but not the least is the most urgent need to work towards a political solution. After having suffered the bitter ravages of the -war for so long, the nation is in search of a peace that lasts. Hence, the CBCSL once again wishes to make a fervent appeal to the government and all concerned to work out a political solution that resolves our difficulties and ensures true peace and justice for all the citizens of Sri Lanka."
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