Claiming that the bridge proposed to connect Sri Lanka and India would be the beginning of many unnecessary problems, the Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, has insisted that a referendum be held on the matter.
Commenting on the proposed building of a bridge connecting Sri Lanka and India, he questioned whether the country was not having enough issues with India. “It is said that a bridge is to be built between India and Sri Lanka. The people remember how they dropped dhal here (India dropping tonnes of food and medicines by parachutes into areas held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [LTTE] when the Sri Lankan Government was allegedly about to defeat the LTTE in the 1980s), established the Indian Peace Keeping Force and forced our leaders to do what they (India) wanted.”
If the proposed bridge is built, Cardinal Ranjith said, it would be the beginning of various unnecessary problems. “When a bridge is built, we will have to suffer more and more issues. That is why we emphasise that if such a decision is to be made, the government should hold a referendum. That is what should happen if our rulers respect everyone’s views and democracy. Implementing these projects without doing so is totally wrong”.
During President and National Policies Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recent visit to India, he held discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several others. Among the various proposals discussed during such meetings was the building of a bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka. The proposal has seen opposition from several parties.
(By arrangement with ‘The Morning’)