By Colombo Telegraph –
Responding to last week Colombo Telegraph revelation, a Spokesperson from the Archbishop’s office, Rev. Father Benedict Joseph told The Sunday Leader the remarks as ‘baseless’ and ‘false’. Colombo Telegraph revealed the story how Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith lobbied the US government against international pressure on accountability for war crimes titled “Mahinda Rajapaksa is a “christian” – says Archbishop” based on a leaked US embassy cable. We expect a clarification from ambassador Patricia A. Butenis.
How every it is unclear which remarks are ‘baseless’ and ‘false’. We reproduced Sunday Leader story below.
the Archbishop office in Colombo has strongly rejected a leaked Wikileaks cable which allegedly reveals how Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith lobbied the US government against international pressure on accountability for war crimes.
The cable written on October 2, 2009 recounts details of a meeting between the Archbishop and the US Ambassador in Colombo Patricia A. Butenis, where the Archbishop is alleged to have said he believed President Rajapaksa personally was a good man and pushing the government of Sri Lanka too hard on the war crimes accountability issue now could destabilize Sri Lankan democracy and could suffer revolution from the right or a coup by the military.
Rejecting the remarks as ‘baseless’ and ‘false’ a Spokesperson from the Archbishop’s ofice, Rev. Father Benedict Joseph told The Sunday Leader that this was not the first instance where the Archbishop’s name had been misused and denied the contents of the leaked cable entirely.
“This is not the first instance when and where the Archbishop’s name has been misused. This is the clear work of some mischievous characters who are trying to jeopardize the good name of the Cardinal,” Father Benedict said.
The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” by Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis also quotes the Archbishop as allegedly having argued that if something happened to the President there would be “chaos” in Sri Lanka and weakening Rajapaksa could backfire.
“He noted that while he himself was a Singhalese, he was very sympathetic to the plight of Tamils, who had suffered greatly from pogroms and discrimination by the majority and from the disastrous results of LTTE separatist ideology. He explained that the Church had played a key role in brokering talks between the GSL and the LTTE over the years, including the 2002 cease-fire agreement. After the war, the church was advocating publicly for the release of IDPs and other controversial positions. This had led to criticism from the Buddhist right and even death threats against the archbishop himself. This was the opposite of the leading role in reconciliation the archbishop believed Buddhists should have been playing years ago,” the leaked cable alleged.