Aid for crises-ridden Sri Lanka should come with “clear-cut conditions” to ensure that human rights and the rule of law are protected.
“Aid should be given to our country, but with clear-cut conditions so as to preserve democracy, the rule of law, honesty and safeguard human rights,” said Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo.
In an interview with Vatican News, the cardinal reiterated his call for the international community to pressure the Sri Lankan government to ensure that “errors are corrected.”
He said the country has suffered a “serious erosion of democracy” because of the “gradual deterioration of the rule of law” and the interference of political leaders in the judiciary.
“The corruption levels of our political system are very high, and only a few people — or rather a few families — have been earning endlessly, while many families are in dire poverty,” said the prelate.
He said corruption must stop and an effective means of controlling it must be set up.
Cardinal Ranjith human rights violations are also on the rise, “and the more people protest, the more oppressive the governments have become.”
“All of this requires a transformation in our society,” he said.
The cardinal earlier expressed his gratitude to Pope Francis for giving 100,000 Euros to support 400 families who were affected by the 2019 deadly Easter church bombings.
“On his own initiative, he asked me whether he could help us financially, and I said, okay, we are very grateful to him for that,” said Cardinal Ranjith.
He said that de to the current economic crisis, those affected by the 2019 attacks “are in great need of help.”
“We continue to take care these needs as much as we can,” he said.
Over the weekend, Cardinal Ranjith challenged the country’s political leaders to face the investigations into the 2019 bombings.
“We want to bring a system change and everyone must change their lives,” he said.
Pope Francis has earlier called on the Sri Lankan government to make public the truth behind the Easter attacks.