Photos of the Living Letters visit to Sri Lanka

"No weapons"

"No weapon" sign at the entrance to the social service centre of Mannar Catholic diocese.
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Silent commemoration

The ecumenical Living Letters visitors and Tamil widows and mothers observe silence in memory of the war victims on August 6 in Mannar. After this silent commemoration, the local women told the stories of their husbands and children who went missing during the bloody ethnic conflict. High resolution version

A family struck by war

Elderly Nagamma narrates the tragedy that struck her family to the Living Letters delegation. Her son Shanmugan was shot by the soldiers and his head chopped off in 1993. Her daughter was killed in bombing by the Lankan air force in 1998. Her grandchild Shalini, standing next to the old woman, was born deaf because a landmine blast injured her mother during the pregnancy. High resolution version

Speaking out

The government agent for Mannar listens to Aruna Gnanadason from the WCC.

Games of war

Dr. Suh Bo Hyung from the Presbyterian Church in Korea (South Korea) and Semegnish Asfaw from the WCC with children at a daycare centre in Alankulam, 300 km east of Colombo. At the bishop Ambalanar memorial centre, children of Tamil families displaced by war and the recent tsunami are cared for during the day, while the parents go out in search of odd jobs. Due to the frequent sight of soldiers carrying guns, the tiny tots have made automatic rifles and rocket launchers with the plastic blocks given to them for play.

Thanksgiving prayer

Catholic women kneeling in prayer on the soil before the statue of Christ at the war-damaged Anglican Christ church in Jaffna. The statue was installed in thanksgiving on the spot in front of the Anglican church by local Christians after a shell fell on the church but did not explode in 1990 when the church was packed with refugees of all faiths. High resolution version

Fishermen tell their tale

Prof. Eunice Kamara Karanja, Roman Catholic from Kenya, listens to fishermen's stories in Jaffna near Point Pedro.
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Desecrated war cemetery

After seizing Vaharai region from the Tamil rebels earlier this year, the government forces have flattened the LTTE war cemetery with bulldozers and have converted it into a ‘coconut research centre' (says the sign in Tamil language). High resolution version

All photos © Anto Akkara/WCC