Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith gives an interview during the radio station’s inaugural broadcast. UCANEWS.COM photoCardinal Malcolm Ranjith gives an interview during the radio station’s inaugural broadcast. UCANEWS.COM photo

COLOMBO – The Archdiocese of Colombo has launched the country’s first Catholic Internet radio station in the capital, aimed at providing a platform for young people and for those who are unable to attend church regularly.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, president of the bishops’ conference, presided over the June 6 launch ceremony at the National Catholic Social Communication Centre in the capital.

The web radio station, which broadcasts three hours of Church-centred content seven days a week, will feature mostly Sinhalese-language programming.

Fr Benedict Joseph, national director of the Catholic Social Communication Centre, said the web radio station afforded the Church a new opportunity to reach the country’s minority Catholic community.

Most Sri Lankans are Buddhist.

“The Internet encourages new forms of journalism such as blogs, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook, which are interactive and immediate,” he said.

“It’s a new broadcasting opportunity to be able to share the Gospel, Catholic values and address pressing social issues. Social media has touched the life of the people today and it allows new forms of audience participation,” he said. “Our goal is to improve believers’ lives by deepening faith.”

While programming will largely focus on general issues regarding the Church, the station also aims to address broader social issues. “I hope the radio station will help encourage people to build up a just society and that it will enhance the lives of people,” said Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith at the launch ceremony.

Mr Hudson Samarasinghe, chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, lauded the new station as an important contribution to the communications sector in the country.

Mr Marcus Fernando, a Catholic journalist, said he hoped the new station would help set an example for professional and impartial reporting. – UCANEWS.COM