Cardinal calls for review of Govt’s fiscal policy

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday called for a review of the government’s fiscal policy.

The Cardinal warned of the growing danger in obtaining massive loans from international lending agencies and taking decisions at their behest.

Addressing the media at the Cardinal Cooray Centre at Tammita, Negombo, he said that the country could face a massive crisis due to growing debt.

The Cardinal and Rev Fathers Francis Senanayake, Terrance Bodiyabaduge and Chaminda Pradeep, on behalf of the Catholic priests serving in Negombo, alleged that the government was turning a blind eye to rapid deterioration of law enforcement.

Rev. Father Chaminda Pradeep launched a scathing attack on the government, the failure on the part of the police and relevant agencies to prevent the destruction of the Negombo lagoon. The priest alleged that some influential persons had been encroaching the lagoon in spite of their pleas for State intervention.

A visibly emotional priest said that people had lost faith in the system. Commenting on the difficulties experienced by the fishing community, Rev. Father Pradeep said that the livelihoods of as many as 4,000 families could be jeopardised due to filling of the lagoon and the destruction of the mangroves.

The priest produced photographic evidence to justify his allegations. He also accused some influential persons of using the lagoon as a dumping ground for waste.

The Church emphasized the responsibility on the part of the government to ensure justice and fair play. Those in power shouldn’t be selective in implementing laws and regulations, the Church said.

Rev. Father Bodiyabaduge said that some pharmacies were in the habit of issuing medicine to students even without prescriptions. According to the priest, some children consumed a certain type of medicine for a ‘kick’, at the risk of their lives.

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