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Archbishop to Visit Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore

Thursday 3rd May 2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams is to spend four days in Sri Lanka next week as part of a visit to South East Asia. Dr Williams' visit comes at a time when tensions have increased in the country following the apparent breakdown in peace negotiations between the Government and the Tamil Tigers.

During the course of his visit, Dr Williams will hold meetings and discussions with religious and civil leaders in the country and will visit churches and see the church at work.

Dr Williams said that Sri Lanka was in his prayers:

"I'm very much aware of the continuing difficulties being faced by the country and the present situation gives cause for real concern. Sri Lanka is a place in which conflict and violence has become a reflexive response to political difficulty and it is clear that people are suffering greatly. It is a very difficult situation and one that is constantly in our prayers. We trust that the witness of Christians in Sri Lanka will go on helping to provide real grounds for hope."

The Archbishop is visiting in his capacity as Metropolitan of the Church in Ceylon; the dioceses of Colombo and Karungala fall directly under his authority.

Dr Williams' visit next week also includes Malaysia and Singapore.

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