11/28/2013, 00.00
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Church in Sri Lanka: No casinos, a threat to country’s dignity

by Melani Manel Perera
The government has decided to turn a village into a luxury tourist hub, with large hotels and casinos. The site is located near the international airport. Card. Ranjith , President of the Episcopal Conference , condemns the decision: " Yes to development, but our land is not for sale ."

Colombo (AsiaNews) - The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka is opposed to building a casino complex in the village of Katana (Western Province). With an official statement, Card. Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo and President of the Episcopal Conference, expressed " the firmest protest and condemnation of this move, [made] to sell the cultural and spiritual dignity of Sri Lanka for economic purposes."

The government of President Rajapaksa has decided to turn the Katana area into "Sanwardhana Watta", a luxury tourist hub. Taking advantage of the proximity of the village to the international airport in Katunayake, in the area will be home to five-star hotel, and casinos.

According to Card. Ranjith, "this move will threaten the traditional spiritual values ​​of our motherland. This land, which feeds most of the great religious traditions of the world, is not for sale. And I ask those who love our country to protect it and to oppose this project. Yes to development, but not at the cost of our dignity".


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