A recent revelation in Jaffna to restore lost friendship between the north-south, Sinhala-Tamil communities during the thirty years of war and to maintain the peace that has been won took place with the launching of a Tree Planting Campaign initiated by Caritas Sri Lanka, the social arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka.

Measures were taken to plant a vast variety of 1500 plants that would embrace medicinal, fruits and food crops. The plants were obtained from various regions of our Motherland and will be planted across a mammoth area of 300 acres. The project was launched in accordance with the encyclical, “Laudato Si”, issued by His Holiness Pope Francis, to protect nature, our home.

“The Catholic Church will take care of the plants for a period of about two years and return them;” said Rev. Fr. Mahendra Gunatilleke, the National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka, pointing out that the environment can and will be protected only if trees and leaves are protected and would thus turn this “war affected wasteland to a thriving, green and sustainable land, benefiting all people,  to give back to nature what we have so forcefully stole.”

The Tree Planting Campaign was presided over by His Eminence Bishop Justin Gnanapragasam, Bishop of Jaffna and attended by a majority of Inter-Religious Leaders, Clergy and Laity and Army Personnel. Noted in this article was a brief of the highlights of the Tree Planting Campaign.