Catholics should take the lead in upholding democratic values in a country that is rotten to the core, the editor of a leading newspaper told a meeting on July 18.
“As a country we have failed to promote democratic values,” said Majuwana Kankanamage Victor Ivan, editor of Ravaya, newspaper.
Victor Ivan’s critical view of the state of Sri Lankan politics came during a discussion in Chilaw called: “Present realities in Sri Lanka and the ministry of the Catholic community.”
“There is widespread corruption and wanton waste of public funds. Our experience is that if a person has a lot of money he can get away with anything. There is no sense of rights and responsibility in society,” he said.
“Therefore as Catholics it is of paramount importance that we change our attitudes towards democracy and seek a system that upholds truth and justice and good governance,” he told more than 1,000 Catholics, including priests and nuns.
Other speakers at the discussion agreed that Catholics needed to help instigate change.
Anton Meemana, a theology professor at several universities, said a change for the better should start within oneself.
“If as a follower of Jesus Christ I want to see the creation of a new society which operates on love, sharing and forgiveness then I should change and try to build that new reality first in my heart. We must become what we love not what we hate,” he said.
He invited participants to change the lives of other people by constantly changing their own lives.
“We should become Christians every day. And our personal qualities must surpass our office and responsibility in society.”
Dinusha Perera, a 27-year-old teacher on Christianity, said the discussion was important and timely.
“We need to address different issues now. The Church should listen to the ideas of everyone, even ordinary people and move towards a better society,” she said.