07/06/2022, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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Card Ranjith again calls on Rajapaksa to resign

by Melani Manel Perera

For the archbishop of Colombo, the president's family “considers their political power more important than the wellbeing of the people”. Even the Buddhist Maha Sangha calls for an all-party government to lead the country out of the crisis.

Colombo (Asia News) – Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, held a press conference yesterday at the Bishop’s Residence at which he said that the credibility of the Rajapaksa family has fallen so low that all of their attempts to achieve financial, political or constitutional changes have been rejected by public opinion.

“This family considers their political power more important than the wellbeing of the people,” Card Ranjith said.

For him, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and all the members of the Rajapaksa family who occupy positions of power should quit to enable the country to face the serious crisis in which it finds itself.

“On behalf of the suffering people, what I am earnestly requesting from the President and the government of Sri Lanka is to accept their responsibility for the sad situation and step down from their positions since they have no moral right to continue in office anymore under these circumstances”.

As a replacement, the cardinal calls for the formation of a caretaker government that would address the most immediate problems with the assistance of competent technicians, so that the country could hold an election as soon as possible.

Turning to opposition leaders, he urges them “to work in unity and with transparency renouncing their petty political and ideological limitations”.

Bishop Asiri Perera, a former president of the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka, made a similar request. In his view, Rajapaksa must go “so that this nation can recover”.

“People are not asking for a new government or a new ruler,” Bishop Perera said; “they are asking for gas to cook, fuel for vehicles, uninterrupted power supply, a lower cost of living,” and telling politicians, “Don't get into a power struggle”.

Yesterday, the Bhikkhu Maha Sangha Sabha, an association of Buddhist monks, sent a letter to the president inviting him to work immediately for the creation of an all-party government.

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