“The Anglican Church in Sri Lanka has had a long and honourable history as a force for unity throughout the whole period of civil disturbance on the Island. Successive bishops of both dioceses have used their influence to build relationships between the communities, maintaining the Church’s reconciling mission across the nation. That unifying mission has the full and unqualified support of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and is wholly aligned with his own emphasis on reconciliation in every aspect of his own ministry, across the world.
"The visit by Bishop Shanta to Canterbury last week was to consider with him the various options for dealing with his position as a bishop who had voluntarily stood down following numerous complaints that he brought his Church and ministry into disrepute. A particular cause of concern was his involvement in unresolved criminal proceedings relating to misappropriated pension funds. Members of his own Diocesan Standing Committee had requested that he should resign, and he agreed to do so.
"Any suggestion that the Church of Ceylon or Archbishop of Canterbury is seeking to influence the outcome of the forthcoming presidential election is categorically untrue."