Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, who is concurrently accredited to the Holy See, has briefed His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on the developments in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Mission in Geneva said today.
The briefing took place after the Ambassador presented his credentials to the Pope Benedict at a ceremony held at the ApostolicPalace at the Vatican.
Ambassador Aryasinha traced the historic relations between the Holy See and Sri Lanka and noted the constructive contribution of the Church towards the areas of education, healthcare, social services and post-conflict development in the country.
He explained the significant developments taking place in Sri Lanka since the restoration of peace in the country, in the areas of resettlement of the displaced, re-integration of ex-combattants, reconciliation between all communities, economic and infrastructure advancements in the former conflict affected areas as well as other parts of the country, and the noteworthy growth in the tourist sector.
Ambassador Aryasinha, in his message, said “as Sri Lanka builds on a new era of peace, stability and equality, where the multicultural, multi-religious and multiethnic dimension that the country is renowned takes primacy, the pivotal role that can be played by religious leaders in this regard had been readily recognized”.
Noting “the important contribution and dedication of the Roman Catholic Church towards inter-religious dialogue and socio-cultural development in Sri Lanka”, Ambassador Aryasinha made special mention of “the valuable services rendered by His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith”. He also appreciated the “contribution made towards this end by the Holy See through the Apostolic Nuncio in Colombo, and the generous donor assistance by Caritas International and its associated charities”.