Some no doubt will see this as a curial coup. Ranjith was not universally popular, it has to be said, and it is rumoured that even in the Congregation for Divine Worship there was a deep split between those who welcome the Benedictine reforms, and those who resent them. Is this another manifestation of this divide? On the other hand, Ranjith is rumoured to have been a not unmixed blessing to Pope Benedict's admirers, having a sharp temper and a not-always-tactful tongue.
But surely we do not think in mediæval terms these days. Not all of us, anyway! The Indian sub-continent (of which, I suppose, Sri Lanka can be said to be a part) is a very mixed bag indeed. One the one hand, we have the stupendous example of the Missionaries of Charity. And then on the other hand we have considerable heterodoxy and heteropraxis. A visit by an Indian bishop to a priest friend of mine left my friend deeply shocked at the way his visitor, to whom, naturally, the facilities of the church were freely extended, improvised the liturgy of the Mass—even the Canon—and combined this with a personal arrogance towards his host and another priest from his own diocese. This is reportedly quite a widespread phenomenon. So, if Ranjith has been sent to the subcontinent, albeit on an island off the coast, perhaps he is just the person to bring things a little more into line with the rest of the Church before it goes very wonky indeed. We must also remember that Sri Lanka is where that chap Tissa Balasuriya came from; if the bishops there had done their job, it would perhaps never have been necessary for the then Cardinal Ratzinger to pull him into line, thus giving undue prominence to Balasuriya's opinions and giving him the status (in some peoples' eyes) of a martyr, persecuted by the Roman Inquisition.
So, if the rumour is true, Archbishop Ranjith, far from being exiled, may in fact be sent to exert some very necessary influence back home.