Cardinal Condemns Sri Lanka Shooting

Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka, expressed “shock and distress,” accusing the Sri Lankan military of storming a Catholic church and firing on those inside. They had sought refuge in the church after a protest over the pollution of a local water source was violently dispersed. The cardinal condemned the army’s action in a strongly worded statement read on Aug. 7 during the funeral for one of three people who died in the incident on Aug. 1 at St. Anthony Parish in Weliweriya, a village just outside the capital. Authorities said more than 50 people were injured during the assault. “It was sacrilege for anyone to enter such sacred precincts with arms in their hands and to behave in a violent manner there,” Cardinal Ranjith said at the funeral of Ravishan Perera, 18, a student at St. Peter’s College in Colombo who died after being shot in the head. Cardinal Ranjith demanded that the “those found guilty [should] be punished without consideration of rank or status.”

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