( December 7, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The erection of the world’s tallest Christmas Tree on Galle Face Green has been suspended consequent the statement made by His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.
Speaking to the local media, Ports and shipping deputy minister Nishantha Mutuhettigama said that a considerable volume of construction work of the Christmas tree has already been completed.
However a meeting with regard to the suspension of work is scheduled to be held between subject minister Arjuna Ranatunga and port authorities officials today
The deputy minister further said that a final decision will be taken following the scheduled meeting with Minister Ranatunga.
Addressing a media conference at the Colombo Archbishop’s House yesterday, His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said that the project to erect the world’s tallest Christmas tree is a waste of government funds.
The Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith hitting out strongly against the World’s tallest Christmas tree on Galle Face Green has called it a ‘wasteful expenditure’.
He asked that it be stopped and that money be used to build homes for the homeless or to provide scholarships to poor children. The Archbishop also emphasised that the Bishop’s Council had agreed to work together with other religious leaders to strengthen the family unit in Sri Lanka. This proposal had also been approved at the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference held this year.
The Archbishop of Colombo pointed out that several other religious leaders including Ven. Prof. Bellanvila Wimalaratne Thera had also participated and expressed their views.
The Archbishop of Colombo also said that he did not know how much a venture such as the World’s Tallest Christmas tree sponsored under the Arjuna Ranatunga Welfare Fund would in reality cost.
The tree is to be built using iron, old wood material, chicken wire mesh and vinyl flowers. It is to be 325foot and was started on August 18 and is scheduled to be completed by December 22. The tree would be displayed for 10 days from Christmas day.
The sponsors have stated that the workers from the Sri Lanka Ports Authority have volunteered their labour for the project.