[ UCAN ]
The only way to bring a “just and lasting political solution” to Sri Lanka’s 25-year conflict is through dialogue and negotiation, Pope Benedict XVI told visiting President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Dec. 1. The pope also emphasized the need to provide food and other basic needs to the population trapped by the war in the island’s northern part. Pope Benedict reaffirmed the Holy See’s unwavering position that only dialogue and negotiation, not military force, can lead to lasting peace. Immediately after the visit to Vatican City, the Sri Lankan leader, who arrived on the first direct Colombo-Rome flight since the government took over Sri Lankan Airlines, departed for a state visit to Turkey.