Sri Lanka in disarray after assassination.

By August 16, 2005

Sri Lanka (MNN)–Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency in the wake of Friday’s assassination of a high-ranking government official.

Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, 73, was killed by a sniper. He is believed to have been targeted because of his efforts to ban the Tigers as a terrorist organization but later backed peace efforts.

The killing is threatening an already fragile peace process. In times like this, ministry adapts to the conditions. But, Voice of the Martyrs Canada’s Glenn Penner cautions, there are risks involved for those who continue evangelical work.

In fact, he urges, “Pray for continued stability in Sri Lanka. Christians go right across the ethnic boundaries. There are Tamil Christians, Sinhalese Christians who work side by side, working in the same organizations. This makes things really difficult for them sometimes, as they have family members on either side. And, Christians are sometimes seen as being disloyal to both sides.”

Penner also says there’s a real danger that the pending anti-conversion laws could go through. “They may pass the law, if for no other reason as they think that it might calm things down.”

The bills were in Parliament awaiting action, but Penner fears the Jathika Hela Urumaya (Buddhist monks’ party) will use the assasination as an opportunity to drive their point home. “There’s this idea, among the Buddhists, particularly, that if they outlaw conversion, that it will stop, that it will go away. They might see this as a means of diminishing violence in rural areas.”

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