Katana - Catholics and Buddhists candidates of the deanery of Katana (Archdiocese of Colombo), running for the forthcoming local elections in Sri Lanka, are calling for support of church leaders to better address their role as leaders. "It is a need felt by all politicians and we thank the priests for their presence," commented a number of candidates. The elections for local government will be the next March 18. March 5 last, at the Church of St. Francis Xavier parish halp (Katana), Fr. Reid Shelton Fernando met some candidates to discuss the theme "Gentlemen Politics and New political culture in Sri Lanka".
"Gentlemen politics is a part of Christian faith and there should not be room before and after the polls for violence, abuse of power, abuse of rights, corruptions, insulting, deformation of characters, and violation the election rules" "As God's children - continues the priest - Christian candidates or the politicians have a responsibility to work according to Christian teaching. So, Christian politicians should always exemplary for non-Christians politicians as well as their voters". And quoting Pius XII, Fr. Fernando points out that politics is "the best opportunity to show Christian charity."
The candidates in attendance declared: "When it comes to making decisions to improve the development programs in local areas, our priests together with Buddhist monks should be present and guide who is elected, to always act in full transparency."
Speaking to AsiaNews, Fr Fernando said that his goal is to make sure politicians are good Christians, who follow the teachings of Jesus to build a new political structure. He adds: "We're not trying to show our 'Catholic power', but we need to show our Christian example so that it can motivate even non-Christians."
At the next local elections 84 Catholic and Buddhist candidates are running from three parties: the United National Party (Unp - conservative), the main opposition party, the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA - Socialist), the alliance's majority party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP - communist). Each party has 28 candidates.