MR asks whether Mangala’s statement reflects Govt’s opinion

27 September 2018 02:06 am - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday denounced Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s response to Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and asked whether the response was the government’s opinion.

He expressed these views to media after a group of Catholic MPs and Provincial Councillors met him to express their displeasure over Minister Samaraweera’s response.

“We want to know whether this is the opinion of the government or its policy. We condemn Minister Samaraweera’s statement. Even many Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Catholics spoke to me and said they are against this. The Cardinal has simply made a statement inside a church during a service. Criticizing it in this manner is wrong,” he said.

Mr Rajapaksa said the Prime Minister should make a statement over the issue.“We see this as a bad precedent. If statements of religious leaders were continued to be defamed like this, there will be no end to it,” he said.

In response to Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s remarks that human rights had become the religion among the Western nations, Finance Minister Samaraweera said the Cardinal seems to got things wrong in trying to be a populist.

In a tweet, the Minister said, “The need for Human Rights was an outcome of the marauding religious zealots of the Inquisition and the Crusades, where non-believers were massacred "En-Bloc". Pity, the Cardinal always seems to get things wrong in trying to be a populist,”

Meanwhile, the Cardinal sent a clarification and said, "What I basically intended to say on this matter was that if religion is truly practised it could take us to achieve levels of justice, going even beyond the expectations of human rights and thus need not be such an issue for our Catholic community and so encouraged the flock gathered at that particular religious ceremony to, therefore, practice their faith truthfully avoiding turning religious values into something that is ephemeral. But I do accept that with regard to the essentially non-religious nature of the State, human rights as a common platform has its own role to play. Replacing religion with human rights is not what is to be done but human rights should be further strengthened through the good practice of faith,' (Lahiru Pothmulla)

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  Comments - 10

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  • dulan Thursday, 27 September 2018 08:31 AM

    MR and Cardinal thick as thieves.

    mervin Thursday, 27 September 2018 08:38 AM

    Being one of the worst HR violators, MR waiting to capitalize on any petty issue to his advantage. Cardinal should have been more astute in his terminology. HR should be treated as the most fundemental precept of any religion. Mangala is right. Being a Catholic myself I am fully aware of the " dark" eras of the church that paid scant consideration to human rights and worst, totally disregarded basic tenets of the very founder of this great religion - Jesus Christ.

    Opinion Thursday, 27 September 2018 08:40 AM

    All of us have our own opinion!!

    Harini Thursday, 27 September 2018 08:56 AM

    Since you are neither in the government nor a Catholic, I do suggest politely that you back off. Media spin of this calibre is not helping the country. Minister Mangala is correct in this instance.

    Dillan Thursday, 27 September 2018 08:57 AM

    Many times they make statement to show they are important.but actually not. Mangala is correct on this..

    vasaliya Thursday, 27 September 2018 09:01 AM

    The rougue speaks to garner catholic votes at the next polls.

    Saradiel Thursday, 27 September 2018 09:10 AM

    I fully agree with the Cardinal. Whatever the religion, if we follow the teachings, all human rights will be taken care of. If no religion or a religion is not practiced, then we need laws and human rights regulations.

    yahiya Thursday, 27 September 2018 09:20 AM

    what cardinal done in your time?

    sharowana Thursday, 27 September 2018 09:50 AM

    Defending the rogues in previous regeime is a Cardinal Sin itself.

    johan Thursday, 27 September 2018 12:46 PM

    There is freedom of speech why should Mangala defendCardinal or any other religious leaders.During your time you defended Gnanasera or unnoticed all his dirty heroism


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