The head of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka says he will boycott all government functions in protest against the arrest of a nun over child trafficking allegations. Colombo Archbishop, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, told journalist in Colombo that he strongly objects to the arrest of Sister Mary Eliza, an Indian nun serving in a Mother Theresa Missionary in Moratuwa, near Colombo.
“I would say that I will not attend any state ceremony or function from now on until Christmas as a sing of my protest,” he said.
Sister Eliza who was arrested by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), last week, has been detained in a high security prison over the weekend. She was later released on bail.
Protesting the arrest, the Church in a statement said the nun was not even given an opportunity to contact a lawyer.
Anonymous phone call
It said Sister Eliza was the first Mother Theresa Missionary ever to be imprisoned.
When these pregnant mothers come there seeking help, they don’t ask their religion, nationality, caste or whether they have money
Police spokesman, SP Ajith Rohana earlier told BBC Sandeshasya that at least two underage pregnant women were found in the convent and it was illegal not to disclose that information to the authorities.
But the senior counsel appearing for Sister Eliza, Neville Aberatne, told BBC Sandeshaya that the arrest was illegal as the police or the NCPA has so far failed to file any charges against the nun.
He added that Prem Nivasa in Rawatawatta is registered with the government and all adoption were made through the court orders.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, meanwhile, questions the actions of the NCPA, police and media to raid a registered children’s centre based on an anonymous phone call.
“When these pregnant mothers come there seeking help, they don’t ask their religion, nationality, caste or whether they have money,” said the head of Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church.
Cardinal Malcom Ranjith accused the authorities of acting in an irresponsible manner during the raid.
“Some of these young girls are on the verge of committing suicide.”