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Last updated: 11 November, 2009 - Published 15:51 GMT
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Pope calls for reconciliation
The head of the Roman Catholic church, encouraged Sri Lankan authorities and citizens to step up efforts for reconciliation in the country.

At the end of Wednesdays general audience, the Pope Benedict XVI remarked upon the current situation in Sri Lanka.

The pontiff praised the government efforts to resettle the refugees. "We note with satisfaction the efforts being made by the authorities over recent weeks, to facilitate the return home of people displaced by the war".

human rights

The Pope also expressed concern about the human rights situation in the country.

"I strongly encourage acceleration in this process and ask all citizens to work towards rapid pacification in full respect for human rights, and towards a just political solution to the challenges still facing the country", said the Pope.

He also appealed to the international community to offer help to Sri Lanka.

"I trust, moreover, that the international community will strive to meet the humanitarian and economic needs of Sri Lanka, and I raise my prayers to Our Lady of Madhu, that she may continue to watch over that beloved land".

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