Friday, August 29, 2008

Orissa Violence: Mangalore Submits Memorandum

Mangalore Church Submits Memorandum Against Orissa Violence

A South Indian Diocese in the State of Karnataka has submitted a memorandum against the atrocities on Christians in Orissa. The Memorandum addressed to Sri Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Orissa and Sri Shivraj Patil, Home Minister of the Government of India through the Deputy Commissioner of the Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka was submitted in the name of the Bishop of Mangalore, Most Rev. Aloysius Paul D'Souza by Rev. Fr. Henry Sequeira, Chancellor and Judicial Vicar of the Diocese as the Bishop is under medical treatment. The full text of the Memorandum follows:

29 August 2008


Hon'ble Sri Naveen Patnaik
Chief Minister, Orissa

Hon'ble Sri Shivaraj Patil
Home Minister,
Government of India

The Deputy Commissioner, D.K.,

Honorable Sir

In the wake of the recent violence unleashed in the Kandhamal District of Orissa and the killing of Swami Lakshmananda Saraswathi and his four associates in the Ashram, which the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) as well as the Christian community of Orissa and in other parts of the country strongly denounced and condemned and appealed for maintaining communal harmony and peace, there have been unwarranted attacks on Christians and their houses and institutions in the same district and neighbouring areas.

Some organizations in Orissa pointed fingers at the Christian community and brutally murdered Fr. Thomas Pandipally, a CMI priest. An orphanage managed by Christian missionares was set ablaze. A woman working for that orphanage and a paralytic man in his own hous, were burned to death. Two priests and a few religous women were seriously injured and several Christian institutions destroyed. Fearing for their life many Christians including women and children, religious men and women have taken shelter in the nearby forests!

We are deeply pained to see our brothers and sisters in Orissa being targeted for no fault of theirs; they are victims of a calibrated malicious campaign by certain unruly organizations that take the law in their own hands. Besides, the calibrated malicious campaign has already spread or is spreading to the other States. In the light of this, we express our helplessness.

We Christians are a peace-loving and law abiding citizens of our great country, India. We are no less patriotic than others. We have manifested our patriotism in many ways in the past and history is clear evidence to this truth. When atrocities take place we are adequately protected and many times justice is denied to the victims.

We solicit your support in the matter mentioned above and from our part we promise that we remain loyal citizens of this great nation of great people. We want to reiterate that as we are loyal to our religion, we are second to none in our allegiance to our country. Therefore we request you to grant us adequate protection.

Most Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D'Souza

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