Today’s urgent need is for all people to unite and work together to enable the country to move forward as a nation, Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said.
He was speaking after laying foundation stones for a proposed new building at St Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade to be used for alms giving on May 22.
Minister Ratnayaka said St. Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade and the Colombo Port had close links from ancient times.
The chaithya at the Port premises and the ‘cross’ at the St. Anthony’s Church are two important land marks visible for anyone visiting the Port. Following the Easter Sunday bomb explosions, the Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith had asked for a portion of the land belong to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority on long term lease. His request was being granted to coincide with the foundation laying for the new building.
Minister Ratnayaka said earlier, we as a country suffered from 30 years of terrorism.
“It was the government’s duty to protect the people. The opposition too should extend its unqualified support to this endeavour, “ he said.
Papal representative protect of the Congregation of Evangelization of peoples His Eminence Fernando Cardinal Filoni said the Sri Lanka Navy was making untiring efforts to reconstruct the church. All those engaged in the reconstruction work were performing a good deed to offer a church for the people. While thanking all engaged in the reconstruction work, he wished to convey the love, affection and the prayers of Pope Francis to all the people.
Housing Construction and Cultural Affairs Minister Sajith Premadasa said after inspecting the reconstruction work of the church with His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and the special representative of the Pope, a programme was being held to bring Gods blessings to all those affected by the bomb blasts and strengthen their living standards.
Power Energy and Business Development Minister Ravi Karunanayake also spoke.
Apostolic Nuncio Bishop Pierre Ngvyen Vantort. Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Tourism Development, Wild Life and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunge and Colombo’s Mayoress Rosy Senanayake were also present on the occasion.
[ Source: Ceylon Daily News ]