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COLOMBO, Dec 4: The head of Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, Rev. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, has announced that he will boycott all state functions up to Christmas in protest against the arrest and prosecution of Sr. Mary Eliza, an Indian nun working for Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity (MC) here, on a “fabricated” charge of trafficking in children.

“I protest strongly at the way this has been handled. As a mark of protest, I am going to keep away from all state functions during this Christmas season until this is rectified,” Cardinal Ranjith told the media here on Saturday.

On Nov 25 police stormed into “Prem Nivesa”, an MC-run home for unwed mothers and orphans near Colombo, arrested Sister Mary Eliza, the Indian nun in charge, and threw her into a prison.

Mary Eliza, who became the first MC nun to be arrested and prosecuted in the world, was given bail by a Colombo court on Dec 1. But her passport was confiscated.

Accusing the police of acting irresponsibly, Cardinal Ranjith said the sister had not committed any wrong.

“I would like to state at the outset that all procedures have been followed by the sisters running Prem Nivasa. Without the approval of probation authorities no child has been given for adoption. There is no money being taken whatsoever and everything is done in an orderly manner,” the Cardinal said.

“These sisters have rendered tremendous service to the country. Despite their doing such wonderful work, because of an anonymous caller, Police and NCPA had started making up stories.”