Respect human rights, civil liberty, pope tells Sri Lanka leaders
Pope Francis on Wednesday urged authorities in Sri Lanka, which has been shaken by unrest over the country’s worst economic crisis, to “listen to the hopes of the people” and respect human rights and civil liberties.
Protesters have targeted the family of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, blaming them for a meltdown in the Indian Ocean nation that has brought massive shortages of key items of food, fuel and medicine.
Soldiers are now patrolling the streets of Colombo, the commercial capital, with orders to shoot at anyone who damages public property or endangers lives.
Speaking at the end of a general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Francis noted that it was mostly young people who had been protesting against the country’s social and economic problems and called for calm on all sides.
“I appeal to all those who have responsibility to listen to the hopes of the people, guaranteeing full respect for human right and civil liberties,” he said.
Sri Lanka, which Francis visited in 2015, is majority Buddhist but has a small Christian community amounting to around 7% of the total population. Most of the Christians in Sri Lanka are Catholics.
Latest Headlines in Sri Lanka
- Asian Games 2023: India women bag Gold medal in cricket September 25, 2023
- Sachithra Senanayake granted bail September 25, 2023
- Wanindu Hasaranga likely to miss ICC World Cup due to hamstring injury – report September 25, 2023
- Sri Lanka receives USD 890,000 interim compensation for damages by X-Press Pearl September 24, 2023
- Sri Lanka pays off $200 million loan from Bangladesh with $4.5 million interest September 24, 2023