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Sri Lankan Church supports people after Gotabaya stepped down

Humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka is turning into a disaster

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Father Mahendra Gunatilleke, the National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka said Caritas Sri Lanka is providing the much-needed food relief to families affected by the severe food and fuel crisis in Sri Lanka for over 30 years.

It is assisted by Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, CAFOD.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa officially stepped down on July 15. Both the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka and Church Ceylon had called for the resignation of the president.

Gunatilleke stated that the current political and economic crisis marks a "very precarious time."

"We are experiencing a humanitarian crisis right now, and it is turning into a disaster... People cannot reach their workplaces... people are struggling to survive," he said.

Over a million people have lost their jobs in the country and the United Nations estimates that more than 5 million people need food assistance out of a population of 22 million.

Despite economic hardships, Father Gunatilleke said, the Church reaches out to those in need, including providing food and sanitation services through Caritas Sri Lanka. Aside from providing aid to the population, the Catholic Church also works in cooperation with other religious groups.

In an interview with reporters at the Speaker's Official Residence, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena stated that the letter of resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was received by him on July 14, 2022, according to Article 38 (1) of the Constitution.

According to Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka's acting president, "I won't help, encourage or facilitate any unconstitutional act, and a collapse of law and order will further damage the country's economy."

"All party leaders, state officials, and security forces are urged to support this process, which will be completed swiftly and in complete transparency," he said.

                   - With inputs from Hemantha Perera


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.