Catholic Church slams Ranatunga’s accusations

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Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church categorically denied allegations levelled against the Cardinal and its Clergy by Minister Prasanna Ranatunga in Parliament on Friday (10), during Message of Condolence for the Late MP Amarakeerthi Athukoorala and said, the Church had always stood for peace and non-violence.

Speaking to the media at the Archbishop’s House in Colombo on Friday (10), Spokesman for Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando accused the Minister of misusing Parliamentary privileges to sling mud and level false accusations against those who defeated the attempts made by certain parties to create religious and ethnic violence.

“It is a known fact that those who attacked the peaceful protesters at Galle Face and Temple Trees came out of the Temple Trees following their meeting with former Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa,” he said. 

The attacks made on the protest sites were similar to Easter Sunday terror attacks in 2019 when the worst kind of bloodshed would have followed. Cardinal Ranjith intervened to prevent a worst type of bloodshed that could have followed the Easter attacks when there were attempts to create disharmony between the ethnic and religious groups.

“It is obvious to the public who are acting with hatred and desire for vengeance in their hearts to seize power, using the current political culture of violence and murder,” Fr. Fernando stressed.  

“Similar to those that had been given prior to the Easter carnage, the country’s intelligence would have taken steps to inform the relevant authorities of the possibilities of the kind of violence on 9 May. If so there would have been ample time to prevent them as well,” he said.  

“So instead of taking measures to identify those who were directly responsible for the violence, Minister Ranatunga is merely taking cover behind Parliamentary Privileges to sling wild accusations in cowardly manner,” Fr. Fernando added.   

By Dilanthi Jayamanne