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Religion, hate speech center stage in Sri Lankan election

Catholic leaders eager to distance themselves from candidates seeking to gain an advantage

Religion, hate speech center stage in Sri Lankan election

A policeman stands guard as supporters of the United National Party attend a final campaign rally in Colombo on Aug. 2 ahead of the upcoming general election. (Photo: AFP)

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has noticed that certain candidates contesting Sri Lanka’s forthcoming general election have used photographs taken with him for propaganda purposes.

The cardinal said that neither he nor the Archdiocese of Colombo are aligned with any political party or persons seeking electoral gains.

Many candidates are trying to use religion to cover up their corruption and malpractices to come to power again. It seems that some are bidding to get more votes by making hateful statements against the religions of minorities, especially Muslims.

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Election Commission chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has received many complaints regarding election propaganda activities carried out at places of worship. He requested all religious leaders not to allow places of worship to be used for promoting or demoting any political party, group or candidate for the Aug. 5 poll.

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