By ACNS staff
The Diocese of Colombo of the Church of Ceylon has called on political parties and voters to take a stand against corruption and greed in upcoming parliamentary elections.
On 26 June a government spokesperson announced that Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena had dissolved parliament in an effort to clear the way for needed reforms. Voting to elect a new 225-member Parliament is set for 17 August, ten months ahead of schedule.
In a statement to diocesan parishes and the media, the Rt Revd Dhiloraj Ranjit Canagasabey, Bishop of Colombo, underlined the need for reform.
The past several decades had seen increasing “greed, nepotism, thuggery [and a] blatant disregard of ethics… at all levels of society, from the executive, the legislature and the administration flowing downwards to provincial, district and village levels,” he said.
As the highest legislative body of the country, Parliament was tasked with “embodying the will of the people, enacting laws for the common good of society and carrying on informed discussion and debate,” Bishop Canagasabey said. He appealed to political parties to nominate candidates with the necessary education, experience and skills, who would be guided by moral and ethical principles.
The Diocese’s Peace and Reconciliation initiated a campaign inviting parishes to “say ‘no’” to any nominees linked to violence, bribery and corruption, drugs or nepotism. The signed pledges were sent along with the Bishop’s statement to the six major political parties contesting the election.
The Church of Ceylon is an extra-provincial church of the Anglican Communion under the Archbishop of Canterbury.