Sri Lankan bishops condemn government action

First published on: 6th April 2022

The Church of Ceylon has issued a statement condemning the Sri Lankan government’s response to the country’s economic crisis.

The statement urges the Sri Lankan government to ‘Listen to the cries of the people of this country and fulfil their fundamental obligations as a responsible administration’. It comes in the wake of an economic crisis caused by a lack of foreign currency, which is needed to pay for crucial imports. The government has responded by enforcing power cuts, limiting fuel use and declaring a state of emergency.

In light of protest and violence occurring across the country, the Bishops of Kurunegala and Colombo write that, ‘Protests of this nature require a response of dialogue and engagement rather than suppression. Enforcing an island-wide curfew to prevent people from expressing themselves is not the answer to the burning problems of the nation.’

L-R: The Rt Rev'd Keerthisiri Fernando, Bishop of Kurunegala, and the Rt Rev'd Dusantha Rodrigo, Bishop of Colombo

The Bishop of Kurunegala adds, ‘The use of curfews and a state of emergency are looked upon by the people of Sri Lanka as tools the ruling elite uses to protect themselves. The Christian community in Sri Lanka continues to pray and pressure the government into helping its people. Any way forward requires our political leaders to put self-interest and party politics aside.’

The Church of Ceylon asks for your prayers as they navigate this economic and political crisis.

Read the statement from the Church of Ceylon.