On Tuesday, Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga met with a delegation from the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL) at her home in Colombo.
During the meeting, Kumaratunga expressed gratitude for the humanitarian work carried out by the Catholic Church in the wake of the devastating tsunami that ravaged south Asia the day after Christmas.
The president also thanked the group of Bishops for the immediacy of relief centers and refugee camps that Church workers set up for victims in the aftermath of the disaster.
She likewise called on the Church to help with continued counseling and medical care.
In the days following the tragedy, the CBCSL appealed in a statement, signed by president Bishop Vianney Fernando and secretary general Bishop Marius Peiristo, to “all our people and Catholics in particular to go to the help of those affected irrespective of differences in ethnicity or religion. We are all brothers and sisters and in this tragedy we should display our brotherly love for each other.”
During the Tuesday meeting with the president, the bishops also discussed proposals for much desired religious harmony in the region, the currently stalled peace process, and the Church’s need for more Catholic teachers.