Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith nominated for Nobel Peace Prize | Sunday Observer

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

14 February, 2021

His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, for the second time this year.

“I have proposed Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith because if we do nothing to prevent the fanatics who kill in the name of religion, it will be the cause of mass killings of the innocent, wars, conflicts and refugees,” said Dr. Amara Ranaweera, Sri Lankan born petroleum scientist, residing in Norway.

Nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 closed at midnight on January 31.

National politicians and some university professors can nominate candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be awarded in December.

There were 318 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020, of which 211 were individuals and the rest were organisations.

As justification for the nomination Dr. Ranaweera presented the following:

“His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, no doubt was the toast of all Sri Lankans for the role he played in ensuring peace in the wake of the horrendous fate that befell the Catholic community in Sri Lanka by the Easter Sunday terror attacks. The composure he maintained amid the grave provocation of the Catholics, his injunction to them not to harm even a single Muslim brother and the leadership he gave to his stricken flock came in for much praise from members of the Buddhist clergy and other religious leaders, so much so, there had been a growing campaign in the country to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize.

His timely appeal to his Catholic devotees to be calm and be peaceful and not even raise their hands to their fellow Muslim brothers is something praiseworthy. This appeal which was accepted and respected by the relatives and others who suffered from the disastrous Easter carnage prevented a bloodbath and a catastrophe which Sri Lanka would have experienced.

His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith’s faith in God and love to the people is something unique. His respect to other religions and the ability to sit and work together with religious leaders is something remarkable.

Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Ranjith, had called upon Sri Lankans not to ‘take the law into their own hands’, after a series of explosions targeting churches and hotels on Easter Sunday killed hundreds of people. ‘I condemn, to the utmost of my capacity, this act that has caused so much death and suffering,’ he said.

“Religion is life. These people have been killed because of their faith. Those who carried out the attacks did not know the value of life,” he said.

His intervention from the very first day of the terror attack prevented a disastrous blood bath among ethnic groups and a civil war which would have erupted in the country.

He initiated meetings with the different religious leaders of the country and appealed to the people to be calm and be peaceful during the unstable situation of the country that prevailed because of these terrible terrorist attacks.

Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Ranjith, single-handedly controlled the Negombo hot bloods from rising against the Muslims.

He was worried and concerned of the victims of the bombings and how they could be supported in rebuilding their lives.

He also made several political statements after the Easter Sunday terror attacks. He denounced the negligence of the Government, which willfully ignored warnings from external intelligence and those from the Muslim community. If heeded, it may have prevented the bombings and the loss of lives. His condemnation is deserved. His statement absolving the Muslim community of responsibility for the attacks, rightly pinning the blame on a few misled extremists is also welcomed.

On another occasion, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith rushed to Katuwapitiya, to pacify and disperse people protesting the damage caused to the glass panels of St. Sebastian’s statue.

The statue on the by-road from Mirigama to the Katuwapitiya St. Sebastian’s Church had been damaged by stones.

Addressing parishioners at the church premises, the Cardinal requested them to act in an exemplary manner as Christians without trying to take the law into their own hands.

The Cardinal said he rushed to the Katuwapitiya Church the moment he heard about the protest because he was sensitive to all the needs and problems of his flock. He said in such moments they should try to act with patience as true Roman Catholics.

He said he also accepted their right to know the truth about the devastation caused to them by the attacks. He said they should act in an intelligent manner during such catastrophic situations.

The Cardinal, on April 21, 2020, in his message on the first anniversary of the Easter Sunday carnage, expressed his sincere thanks to all those who stood by the victims, showing their solidarity with them and assisting them in every way possible. These victims belonged to all ethnic and religious groups in Sri Lanka and included foreigners.

“We honour, especially, all those who lost their loved ones and those who were injured, for their spirit of magnanimity in not reacting in anger and hatred. What was remarkable in that was the resolve to stay calm and peaceful so that an evil plot to destabilise Sri Lanka, with racial or religious riots, was defeated by all Sri Lankans.

“I wish to commend all those who espoused the cause of peace and extended a helping hand to those injured, and to the families of the victims, in many ways. We also call to memory and pray for the 42 foreigners who came with their families to visit this beautiful and peaceful Island and lost their lives in this heinous attack.

“We are thankful to the international media, especially, those who interviewed me locally and via phone, for reporting the true facts to the international community. I wish to state that even in the future we need you to support us in reporting to the international community the true facts and the true image of our beautiful island nation which has been called the Pearl of the Indian Ocean”.

By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 to his Eminence Malcom Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo, a very strong message is sent out to those fanatics and fundamentalists who are engaged in mass killings and destructions in the name of religion, that they are not tolerated and accepted anymore by any society in the world.