Friday, December 20, 2013 (All day)

Catholic church against foreign meddling in country's affairs

The Catholic church is against any kind of foreign intervention in the country's internal affairs, Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said yesterday.

He said international organisations have meddled with internal affairs of many countries and some countries have been destabilised to pave the way for foreign intervention.

"This situation prevails in many countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. We cannot stop this trend," he said.

Addressing a press conference to announce his Christmas message in Colombo Archbishop House, the Archbishop said all parties in the country should strive for an amicable solution to the national issue to avoid foreign intervention.

"Many foreign countries are trying to meddle with the internal matters of Sri Lanka due to pressure from some opportunistic elements," he added.

The Cardinal said the recent statement on the situation in the country issued by the Catholic Bishops' Conference is based on the study by the church for years and every person has a right to agree or disagree with it.

He said 'this is a problem which has arisen with a group of people that have been living in the country for centuries and all parties have to be flexible in evolving a solution.'

"All parties should discuss this issue and evolve a solution to avoid foreign intervention," he said.

The Cardinal stressed that all parties should be flexible with each other and find a solution rather than slinging mud at each other.

Cardinal Ranjith stressed that the recent statement issued by the Catholic Church has made no mention about homelands of the Tamil people.

"We have not said that the Northern province is a homeland of the Tamil people.

It is a habitat of the Tamil people," he said. He said the Catholic church will never endorse Catholic Bishops engaging in politics.

"The views expressed by the Bishops due to the pressure of the people in the area may have been construed as doing politics," he said.

"The fishermen in the Western and North Western Provinces are being arrested by the Indian authorities and the Catholic clergy are compelled to air views on behalf of the community," he said.

"Every Sri Lankan has the right to work and live in any part of the country.

He said that Sri Lanka is the homeland for the people of all communities. The Cardinal said that the Catholic church condemns the ethnic cleansing by the LTTE.

"Thousands of Sinhalese and Muslims were chased out from the Northern Province by the LTTE . We condemn it".



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