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Cardinal Ranjith wants international help for Sri Lanka

Hospitals need medicines and equipment, Catholic leader tells Sacred Heart Mass

Motorists queue to buy fuel at a petrol station in Colombo on June 26
Motorists queue to buy fuel at a petrol station in Colombo on June 26. (Photo: AFP)

Published: June 27, 2022 07:33 AM GMT

Updated: June 27, 2022 07:41 AM GMT

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has appealed to the international community to assist in providing Sri Lanka with medicines and equipment for hospitals amid its economic crisis.

"We urge Pope Francis to request the international community to assist Sri Lanka," he said at the Feast of the Sacred Heart Mass at Ragama Hospital Chapel on June 26.

"We need to support the children's hospital in Borella and the cancer hospital in Maharagama, especially for medicines and equipment."

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He asked how the gold stocks in the Central Bank had disappeared and why were they wasted irresponsibly.

"The disappearance of the gold will have to be investigated someday. People need to know who wasted this money," Cardinal Ranjith said.

Sri Lanka is reeling from its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948 after foreign currency shortages due to mishandling of the economy hampered the regular import of essential items.

"Doctors working in hospitals find it difficult to come to hospitals on time due to the fuel crisis. We are with the people in their grief"

Widespread protests against the powerful Rajapaksa family and the government demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa intensified at the end of March 2022.

Cardinal Ranjith said the country's reserves went down to zero.

"Doctors working in hospitals find it difficult to come to hospitals on time due to the fuel crisis. We are with the people in their grief,” he said.

The government has decided to close schools from June 27 to July 1 due to fuel distribution being disabled all over the country.

The decision was taken following a notification from the Ministry of Energy that fuel distribution would not continue as usual this week.

Many universities, government and private institutions have also discontinued their operations until a solution is found to the fuel crisis.

"People suffer without fuel and essential goods because of their mismanagement. Children can't go to schools due to the fuel crisis"

The All Ceylon Economic Centers and the Manning Wholesale Trade Association have warned that rising fuel prices could lead to a complete collapse in the transport and distribution of vegetables to the wholesale market.

Kanchana Wijesekera, minister of power and energy, said that due to banking and logistical reasons, the arrival dates of ships carrying fuel could not be announced.

Student Ruwani Ekanayake, who has protested against the government, said all the rulers who have stolen public money should be punished.

"People suffer without fuel and essential goods because of their mismanagement. Children can't go to schools due to the fuel crisis," said Ekanayake.

"Politicians have spoiled the future of the children. We need the active role of religious leaders in this crisis."

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