Coming as it did in the immediate aftermath of a hard-fought Presidential election, Pope Francis’ visit to Sri Lanka lost some of the media focus it would otherwise have merited. The local Catholic Church, however, worked silently throughout – with the help of the previous administration, amidst widespread speculation that the Pope might actually cancel his trip. They pulled off a hugely successful visit. The relaxed, well organised, tumultuous welcome for their spiritual leader by the country’s Catholic population was testimony to this smoothly coordinated effort.
That the President who invited the Pope to this country was not able to receive His Holiness was a cruel fate that befell the former President, he being the third Head of Government to have invited a Pope to this country only to see his successor welcome him. Hopefully, it will not be a deterrent for a future invitation to a Pope.[Source]