15,000 attend funeral of killed Sri Lankan priest
Over 15,000 people attended the funeral of Fr. Nicholaspilai Packiyaranjith, a Jesuit Priest who was killed in Sri Lanka in a roadside explosion.
Fr. Packiyaranjith, 40, the coordinator of the JRS in the District of Mannar Sri Lanka, was killed when a bomb hit the car he was travelling in on his was to deliver food and aid to the refugee camps and orphanages in Vidathalvu. The driver was seriously injured.
As yet, no-one has claimed reponsibility for the attack, however both army sources and rebels accuse each other, AsiaNews reported.
The funeral was celebrated by Msgr. Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar, Bishop of Anuradhapura Msgr. Norbert Andrade and the Sri Lanka Jesuit provincial Fr. Maria Antony.
Msgr Rayappu vehemently condemned the brutal murder of Fr Packiyaranjith who had dedicated his life to helping the poor and marginalised.
"Enough blood has flown on this little island nation. This blood cries for peace and not for vengeance.
"We call on the International Community and all men and women of goodwill to condemn this killing and effectively voice their strong condemnation of the ongoing senseless war.
"We plead with the warring parties to bring to an end this war that has been mercilessly left to go on unabated for the last quarter of a century," Msgn Rayappu said.
Archbishop of Colombo Msgr. Oswald Gomes, said he was profoundly moved by the tragic death.
"I remember with gratitude his tireless service to the people and invite all of the faithful to pray that this incident will stir the peace process, so that he who has died, may not have died in vain".
2 Oct 2007