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Pope urges leaders of Sri Lanka not to ignore the needs of the people

"I renew my appeal for peace, together with the bishops of the country," Pope Francis to Sri Lankans in his Angelus Message on July 10

Pope Francis expressed his solidarity with the suffering people of Sri Lanka and has urged Sri Lankan leaders to care for their people, who are suffering from the country's worst economic crisis in 70 years.

While delivering his Sunday Angelus message in July 10, the Pope expressed solidarity with the Sri Lankans, who, in his words, continue to suffer from political and economic instability.

"I renew my appeal for peace, together with the bishops of the country," the pontiff said.

Pope Francis expressed his concern to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square following the invasion of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's residence by hundreds of thousands of protesters. Demonstrators also set fire to Ranil Wickremesinghe's home during the night; fortunately, neither politician was present.

President Rajapaksa's family has ruled the country for over two decades and refuses to relinquish power.

After brutally crushing the Tamil Tigers separatist movement while his brother Mahinda was prime minister in 2009, the strongman president decided to abandon his residence on the evening of July 13 and resigned from office.

The resignations are a reaction to the protests and religious leaders' demands in this country, where 65 percent of the population is Buddhist, 18 percent Hindu, 11 percent Muslim, and 8 percent Christian, including 1.5 million Catholics.

In a statement signed by fifteen bishops, the president of the Sri Lankan Catholic bishops' conference urged leaders to quickly find solutions quickly.

Bishop Harold Anthony Perera said that people are stranded without food, fuel and gas.

He continued, "People have suffered unjustly as a result of the economic and political crisis, and the true perpetrators of this abysmal crisis are still concealed from the public." 

"The government lacks a systematic mechanism to monitor the situation on a daily basis and provide quick solutions, and its failure has caused the entire population to clamour for radical change," he added.

“It is imperative that the government takes drastic steps to resolve these issues and this will ensure that our children and youth have a country they can call home where they can grow up in dignity,” Bishop Perera also said.


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.