Cardinal urges President, Govt to step down

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Stressing that the biggest obstacle to liberate this country from this sad situation is the fact that the Rajapaksa family continues to stay in power in spite of a majority of the people in this country not reposing any trust, Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Government to step down, urging them to take responsibility for the present calamity the country has fallen into.

Speaking to the Media, yesterday (5), the Cardinal said, “The biggest obstacle to liberate this country from this sad situation is the fact that the Rajapaksa family continues to stay in power in spite of a majority of the people in this country not reposing any trust in them in any way. The unashamed neglect of duty on the part of the ruling party of Rajapaksas to serve them had made it clear that the family considered their political power as being more important than the well-being of the people and thereby proving that everything that had been done till now amounted only to political jugglery.”

Cardinal Ranjith observed that should the President and the Government step down, the people would be able to establish a multi-party interim government to effect the desired ‘total and structural system change’ in a manner that was credible and transparent to all. “Such a short-term government would be expected to resolve the immediate issues facing the Nation with the guidance and instruction of a technical and professional team of experts,” he said. “Once the situation of this country improves, it is necessary to conduct a General Election as soon as possible to find out what is on the mind of the public, the Archbishop of Colombo said, while requesting all political leaders of the Opposition to come forward in freeing the people from the prevalent situation. “Work in unity and transparency renouncing petty political and ideological limitations,” Cardinal Ranjith urged.

It is with sadness that the country’s Catholic Church has observed that Sri Lanka had fallen into a state of complete economic bankruptcy which had never been experienced earlier. “The resultant level of suffering heaped upon the people has become intolerable by the day and has pushed them into a dark abyss which cannot be explained in words,” he lamented, adding that hopes had been somewhat rekindled of a recovery with the appointment of the new Prime Minister.  He said the Catholic Church had remained silent to refrain from being an obstacle to solutions being found to the present problems. The developments were observed patiently prior to making any definite comment. But, the present plight of the masses has worsened, becoming unbearably painful, so much so that as a citizen of this country and as a spiritual leader “I have felt it is my duty not to maintain silence any longer,” Cardinal Ranjith added.      

By Dilanthi Jayamanne