The Catholic Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith today condemned the attack carried out by “some elements of the forces” on people who had sought refuge at St. Anthony’s Church in Weliweriya during the clashes between the army and public in the area last week.
He said that it was sacrilege for anyone to enter such sacred precincts with arms in their hands and to behave in a violent manner there.
“Such actions cannot be accepted by anyone. It is always necessary that we preserve the sanctity of sacred premises of any religion and respect the people who enter such premises seeking protection.” he said.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith called on the government to conduct an impartial and just inquiry into the incident where innocent people were killed.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) had earlier said that a priest and a nun at the church were assaulted by troops during the violence in Weliweriya last week.
The BASL said that a team of lawyers had visited Weliweriya and recorded statements from people in the area as well as doctors who had treated the injured.
“The people still live in fear,” an executive member of the BASL had told the Colombo Gazette.
The BASL will be recording more statements over the next few days and will then decide on the next course of action.
Three people have died so far and many others sustained injuries during the “battle for water” at Weliweriya.
The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission has also launched an investigation into the incident. (Colombo Gazette)