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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka was one of the earliest Asian missions of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. French Oblates arrived in 1857, eventually establishing churches, schools, hospitals and other relief throughout the island. Present-day Oblates come from both the Sinhala and Tamil communities, bridging the ethnic divide. The twenty-five year old civil war in Sri Lanka has taken a heavy toll. Oblates ministering to communities on both sides of the conflict have denounced the blatant human rights abuses. The government officially suspended a six-year-old cease-fire in January of 2009, and pursued all out war in an effort to defeat the Tamil insurgency. Tragically, both the government and the LTTE were determined to pursue a military solution rather than a negotiated peace. Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives in the civil war, and countless have been maimed. The JPIC Office receives information and documentation from Sri Lanka on a regular basis.

The Oblate Center for Peace and Reconciliation in Jaffna works to promote the basis for a peaceful society through education and peace-building activities. Learn about their work on their website.

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