RESPECT

Pope Calls for Inclusivity in Sri Lanka

Pope Francis landed in Sri Lanka on Tuesday, and called for respect for human rights and inclusivity in the first papal visit since the end of the nation’s decades-long civil war in 2009. The pontiff, speaking from the tarmac in Colombo, said rebuilding Sri Lanka was not only about improving infrastructure, “but also, and even more importantly, promoting human dignity, respect for human rights, and the full inclusion of each member of society.” New President Maithripala Sirisena, who greeted Francis upon his arrival, has promised to end repression of religious minorities and to launch an independent investigation into possibile civil-rights abuses during the civil war between the Sinhalese majority and separatists from the Tamil minority. Pope Francis will continue his six-day journey with a stop in the Philippines.