In the first papal visit to Sri Lanka in more than 20 years, Pope Francis has called on the country to do more to seek the truth about its years of civil war.
The pontiff attended an inter-religious meeting in the capital of this Buddhist-majority country, which voted out its wartime leaders only days ago.
A brutal war that lasted 26 years ended in 2009, when army defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels.
‘‘For too many years, the men and women of this country have been victims of civil strife and violence,” said Pope Francis.
“For the sake of peace, religious beliefs must never be allowed to be abused in the cause of violence and war’‘.
The visit comes only days after Sri Lankans unexpectedly elected a new president, Maithripala Sirisena.
The Pope is on a six day tour of Asia, which will take him next to the Philippines.