Sri Lanka: Resolute Denouncement of Cardinal’s Brazen Intrusion

Unveiling the unchecked interference of a prominent religious leader that threatens the sovereignty and reputation of a nation.

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His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith paid a courtesy call on then the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees. [ Picture courtesy Prime Minister’s Media Division ]

Editorial

The audacious interference by His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Colombo Archbishop, in the appointment of Sri Lanka’s Inspector General of Police is an outright assault on the nation’s esteemed reputation and unwavering sovereignty. This flagrant act undermines the very foundation of our state, necessitating resolute condemnation from responsible entities and the public. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith’s brazen attempts to manipulate the appointment process must be vehemently denounced, highlighting the far-reaching consequences that such actions can inflict upon Sri Lanka’s international standing and the integrity of its revered institutions.

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith’s unwarranted meddling in the appointment of the Inspector General of Police strikes at the core of meritocracy and impartiality. By exerting pressure and unabashedly attempting to sway the decision-making process, the Cardinal callously disregards the vital importance of granting the President the freedom to make appointments in the best interest of our nation’s security and well-being.

The actions of Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith have the potential to severely stain Sri Lanka’s reputation on the global stage. His unscrupulous interference not only raises grave concerns regarding the independence and integrity of the appointment process but also undermines our nation’s steadfast commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring a governance framework grounded in secular principles. Such audacious intrusion sends an unequivocally negative message to the international community and threatens to erode trust in Sri Lanka’s revered institutions.

The meddling of religious leaders, particularly one as prominent as Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, poses an imminent threat to the sovereignty of our state. Sri Lanka’s capacity to make independent decisions, particularly in matters of national security, must never be compromised by external influences. By encroaching upon the President’s authority to appoint the Inspector General of Police, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith sets a dangerous precedent that significantly undermines the sovereignty and self-determination of the Sri Lankan state.

The actions of Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith flagrantly undermine the integrity of key institutions responsible for upholding law and order in Sri Lanka. The appointment of the Inspector General of Police should be solely based on the professional capabilities and merit of the candidates, devoid of any external pressures. Permitting religious leaders to wield undue influence erodes public trust in these institutions and gravely jeopardizes their efficacy in safeguarding the nation’s security.

Moreover, in relation to the appointment of the new Inspector General of Police, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Colombo Archbishop, has taken it upon himself to send a highly confidential three-page letter to the members of the Constitutional Council, headed by the speaker. In this letter, he explicitly requests that the names of the two Senior Deputy Inspector Generals of Police mentioned therein be disregarded if they are proposed for the position of Inspector General of Police.

According to Cardinal Ranjith, these two officers have displayed a consistent negligence of their duties in various matters, including their handling of the Easter attack. Consequently, His Holiness the Cardinal asserts that, in the name of the entire Catholic community in the country, he implores that the names of these individuals, who have failed to safeguard their professional integrity and the reputation of the police, not be considered for the position. However, such assertions are nothing more than a blunt misinterpretation of the actual incident, based on a series of conspiracy theories and reports that have conveniently omitted the core issues surrounding the attack. A few months after the Easter attack, the United States Justice Department delivered the verdict based on the comprehensive investigation conducted by the FBI debunking these so-called conspiracy theories. Yet, regrettably, many religious leaders and other individuals continue to cling to these theories in pursuit of their ulterior motives. This dangerous path may potentially ignite religious conflicts in various forms.

Did the Cardinal of the United States demand that the Bush Jr. administration, followed by the Obama administration, refrain from appointing the directors of the CIA or FBI due to their inability to prevent the 9/11 attacks, as later revealed by declassified documents? Did the Cardinal of India urge the central government not to appoint the directors of RAW or CBI due to their failure to prevent the Mumbai terrorist attacks? The list of such instances goes on. Religious leaders in those countries understood the limits of their influence. However, regrettably, here in Sri Lanka, these so-called religious leaders are misusing their positions and manipulating the very fabric of our society. This alarming trend must be halted before it wreaks further havoc.

It is of utmost importance that religious leaders, including His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, exercise unwavering restraint and demonstrate utmost respect for the boundaries of their positions. The preservation of Sri Lanka’s reputation and sovereignty necessitates safeguarding the independence and integrity of state institutions. It is incumbent upon the government, civil society, and citizens to unite in unequivocally condemning such brazen interference and advocating for a transparent and merit-based appointment process that ensures our nation’s security and upholds our unassailable sovereignty.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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