The Archdiocese of Colombo today condemned the tweet posted by Minister Mangala Samaraweera saying, ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith had fanned the flames of hatred and communalism by visiting Athuraliye Rathana Thera who was fasting in Kandy’.
In a statement, the Council of Priests of the Archdiocese of Colombo said the minister’s tweet has given a distorted interpretation of the Cardinal's visit to Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera together with two other bishops and some Catholic clergy.
“We strongly voice our opposition to Minister Samaraweera who criticized the efforts of religious harmony advocated by the Cardinal by his imprudent twitter message,” the letter signed by the Council's Secretary Rev. Fr. Freely Muthukudarachchi said.
It said Rathana Thera was on a hunger strike on behalf of the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks demanding the expediting of the outcome of the investigations that are underway and the removal from office of two governors and a cabinet minister who are alleged to have had close ties with those responsible for extremist terrorist activities in Sri Lanka.
“We also state that as Catholics we will continue to support the peace efforts among religions, especially among the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and others as a longstanding common heritage of the citizens of Sri Lanka and inform Minister Samaraweera and all others engaged in spreading erroneous and vengeful comments via social media of the same.
We highly commend the leadership given by the Cardinal in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks on April 21 by his appeal to remain calm and ensured religious harmony in the country, especially appealing not to harm the Muslim Community. We salute the Cardinal for the great contribution he made during this crisis to maintain peace in Sri Lanka,” the letter said.