Roman Catholic Bishop of Galle – Most Rev. Raymond Wickramasinghe issuing an urgent clarification last Monday (11) countered a claim by President Maithripala Sirisena that he made a request for the presidential pardoning of Royal Park murder convict Jude Shramantha Anthony Jayamaha adding that the Bishop had at no instance made such a request.
The Bishop also stated that “inconvenience and blemish” had been caused to the “Catholic Church and personally to me as the Bishop of Galle” and therefore requested that a correction be issued immediately.
HERE IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE STATEMENT ISSUED BY BISHOP OF GALLE:
To everyone’s knowledge.
In the statement issued by the Presidential Media Division which states that religious leaders, civil society activists and various organizations together appealed for a presidential pardon be granted to the Royal Park murder convict Jude Shramantha Anthony Jayamaha, it is stated that I too made a written request for a presidential pardon.
However, I clearly state that I have made no appeal whatsoever to His Excellency the President or to the judiciary with regards to the convict mentioned above. I state that I have not done any study of the case mentioned herewith and also declare that the convict is not personally known to me.
However, a few years ago the venerable Maha Sangha and civil society activists requested me to make a written request to His Excellency the President urging him that rehabilitation and proper education in a better environment be made available to prisoners, especially youth detainees. I have done that and whenever necessary, in the future, I also hope to intervene fairly and equitably for detainees.
I express my strongest displeasure over the undue exaggeration of our common request at this time. I hope the authorities which issued this press release will assume responsibility for the inconvenience and blemish caused to the Catholic Church and personally to me as the Bishop of Galle and issue a correction immediately.