Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Monday, 18 July 2022
Pope Francis reacts to situation in Ukraine, Sri Lanka
Pope Francis laments, yet again, the continuing war in Ukraine and the senselessness of conflict urging international actors to 'really' work for peace. The Pope also reiterates his closeness to the people of Sri Lanka where a devastating economic crisis has engulfed the nation and led to the ousting of the President.

By Linda Bordoni/ :

“I am always close to the tormented Ukraine, which is struck by a rain of missiles every day,” said Pope Francis during the Sunday Angelus.


Raising his voice, yet again, since the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine that continues to wreak death, suffering, destruction and displacement, the Pope reiterated his appeal to the international community to seek a negotiated solution instead of fuelling violence.


Russian missiles hit industrial facilities at a strategic city in southern Ukraine Sunday as Moscow continued efforts to expand its gains in the country's east.


The Mayor of Mykolaiv said that the Russian missiles struck an industrial and infrastructure facility in the city, a key shipbuilding center in the estuary of the Southern Bug river. There was no immediate information about casualties. Mykolaiv has faced regular Russian missile strikes in recent weeks as the Russians have sought to soften Ukrainian defenses. The Russian military has declared a goal to cut off Ukraine's entire Black Sea coast all the way to the Romanian border.


On Thursday, a Russian missile strike killed at least 24 people — including three children — and wounded more than 200 in Vinnytsia, a city southwest of Kyiv, the capital, far from the front lines that had largely been spared from the Russian bombardment before.


Ukraine’s president meanwhile claims that weapons supplied by the West are starting to have an impact on the war by affecting Moscow’s offensive potential.


                 Pope urges Sri Lankan leaders to initiate dialogue for common good


Pope Francis again expressed his closeness to the people of Sri Lanka, assuring that he joins them in prayer.


Speaking during the Sunday Angelus he also issued an appeal to all parties who are engaged in finding a solution to the crisis, rooted in corruption and economic mismanagement, that has deprived the people of basic needs and livelihoods and led to a popular uprising.


The Pope also said he joins the religious leaders of the country  “in imploring everyone to refrain from any form of violence and to initiate a process of dialogue for the common good.”


Sri Lanka’s ousted president meanwhile, fled overseas this week to escape the swelling popular uprising against his government.


Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation was accepted by parliament on Friday after hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters came out onto the streets of Colombo a week ago and occupied his official residence and offices.


Sri Lanka's parliament met on Saturday to begin the process of electing a new president, and a shipment of fuel arrived to provide some relief to the crisis-hit nation.


Parliament will next meet on Tuesday to accept nominations for the post of the president. A vote to decide the country's leader is set to take place on Wednesday.


Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, an ally of Rajapaksa who is the sole representative of his party in parliament, has been sworn in as acting president until then.


Sri Lanka’s anti-government demonstrators held a vigil overnight in memory of those who lost their lives during the massive protests in the island nation, which completed 100 days on Sunday, and which achieved its main objective of getting President Rajapaksa to step down.


Although the first protests began around the end of March, when the island experienced a daily power outage lasting more than 13 hours, it was not until 9 April that thousands of people began occupying the park in front of the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, demanding Rajapaksa’s resignation.