The Crusade of MalcolmR, should be a Crusade for Reconciliation…..
Posted on November 15th, 2010

By Charles.S.Perera

In a previous article it was pointed out why it was important to make the Independence from colonialism meaningful by raising the National Status of Sri Lanka , with one language, one flag, one national anthem, and one official religion as any Nation any where in the World.

It will takes a long time for the people of Sri Lanka to shed their foreign cultural “skin”, to stand up proudly in their own. Nonetheless, they are doing it gradually and if they continue they will be able to shed themselves completely of the foreign “culture skin” with which they had been wrapped during more than four centuries of colonial rule. But Cardinal Malcolm R is up to his neck in the colonial culture which he upholds , and he will sink into it perhaps with some of those he is inviting to follow him and his “fairy tale” religion.

Reading the Cardinal’s submission to the LLRC, one cannot help feeling that it would be better for him to manage his Church affairs with his new Status as Cardinal instead of poking his nose in to secular matters, to put chaos into an already troubled situation as he himself says , “..Sri Lanka should be a secular democracy”¦.”, .

He should revert to his spiritual vocation, where he may render some service to the 7 percent Catholic population who will listen to his homilies spellbound as he is now the direct descendent of Simon Peter the Apostle- the rock on which the Church had been built.

For the rest of the population the Cardinal is only another Catholic priest in a more decorated cassock, and what he says outside his pulpit are irrelevancies that would only damage the Communal harmony of the country.

If we consider the Buddhist Priests his counterparts, though his opposites in every respect yet give spiritual guidance to a larger percentage of the population, the Cardinal MalcolmR has a lesson to learn from them, if he were to be accepted as a spiritual man by the Sinhala Buddhist population in Sri Lanka.

But if they were to go by what Cardinal Malcolm R submitted to the LLRC, he will be considered by them a terrorist like Prabhakrana, wearing a different dress and instead of bombs and guns using words and speech to the same effect in a different sense.

The Buddhist Priests who did not receive from the Colonial rulers or even the Western governments and the media the same respect and reverence the Catholic Priests received, nonetheless, never complained at any time the exodus of Tamils from the North to south for its more acceptable climate, successful business ventures, or to serve the government.

Most of the Tamils who came to south to do their business or in the service of the Government, rarely brought their families. Thus they avoided social contact with the Sinhala people. Nevertheless, the Sinhala people accepted them and often they were invited to their weddings or funerals. The Buddhists also visited the Hindu temples frequently and attended Saraswathi Pooja or sought the blessings of Gana Deyyo. The Buddhist temples also had Devalayas- the Sanctuaries for Hindu Gods.

The Sinhala in south enjoyed celebrating the Sinhala New Year which was also called the Hindu New year. They exchanged sweet meets in celebrating the New Year. The Sinhala shared – Kawun, Kokis, Asmi and Plantains with Tamil people they had accepted as friends, or acquaintances as shopkeepers, or neighbours, and the Tamils in return shared Wade, Murukku and Kadalai wishing each other a happy new year.

Even the Muslim families were not left out. The Muslims also shared their favourite sweetmeat Watalappan a delicious soft cake with the Sinhala and Tamil neighbours .The Sinhala people thus accepted Tamils and Muslims in harmony without show of any dislike or animosity to them. During Sinhala Tamil disturbances some Sinhala families; sheltered the Tamils in their homes.

It is therefore very “unholy” for a Cardinal recently decorated by the Pope in Vatican, to speak critically of the Sri Lanka Governments for the colonisation schemes, which in his words are:

“”¦.The massive colonization schemes undertaken by successive governments after independence, even if they were well-meant, but which did not necessarily respect the pluralities of the ethnic and religious proportions of the Sri Lankan people served rather as irritants than as catalysts for unity, because they were served as an attempt to a gradual breakdown and erosion of the original cultural make-up of these regions”¦..”.

That colonization was a necessary beginning for the Sinhala in the South and the Tamils in the north to get to know each other, after nearly five hundred years of separation without having any neighbourly contact with each other. The Yoda Ela Scheme and along with it the settlement of the Sinhala families in the north were the pioneer settlers, who were to build a bridge of unity between the Northern Tamils and the Southern Sinhalese.

To say that the colonization did not respect the ethnic and religious proportion of Sri Lankan people and served as an irritant , is a very unintelligent pronouncement which should not have come from a man who claims to be ” the fountain of divine love”. It is for a person like the Cardinal Malcolm R, a holy man, to speak to the people and to bring harmony among the people without taking sides with one community or another.

Cardinal MalcolmR, should explain to them the value of the mixture of different ethnic groups- all children of God, and not to make it a cause for irritation, but an occasion to weld a viable union of understanding. Those would have been “divine words of love”, like the homilies he makes from the pulpit.

But the following extract from your submission to the LLRC is very damaging to the motherland we love. How can Cardinal MalcolmR speak such idiocy

Cardinal MalcolmR says in his submission to the LLRC that:

“”¦”¦The massive colonization schemes undertaken by successive governments after independence, “¦”¦”¦”¦.did not necessarily respect the pluralities of the ethnic and religious proportions of the Sri Lankan people served rather as irritants than as catalysts for unity, because they were served as an attempt to a gradual breakdown and erosion of the original cultural make-up of these regions.”

In saying that did this man, the Cardinal MalcolmR, consider for one instance whether the more than 55 percent of the Tamil population living in the South resulted in a “”¦..gradual breakdown and erosion of the original cultural make-up of these regions”¦” . If he does not know, he should recognise even as late as now, that the Tamil people had been accepted by the Sinhala population in the South and they live cordially well, sharing and respecting each others cultural values.

Normally, these type of statements are such as those quite often alluded to the expatriate Tamils, who had never lived with the Sinhala people to understand them really, except to hark back to the July, 1983 as a manthra, to sow seeds of racial hatred towards the Sinhala.

“Sri Lanka has only recently emerged from a long night of darkness and no sane person would wish to return to a similar nightmare. There is much talk of forces outside the country that are determined to act against the country’s interests. If we allow religious discord to grow, we will only be playing into the hands of those same forces.”

The above comment was taken from elsewhere in the Lankaweb. It is an area in which the Cardinal MalcolmR should act as a catalyst to bring sanity in the minds of those forces outside our country by explaining to them, the necessity to help Sri Lanka to develop as a Nation, without making attempts to destabilise the country. This as a message he can send to every Church in the world requesting them to inform its congregation. That would be a crusade for reconciliation, and save Sri Lanka from wilful damage.

The catalyst of unity between the people in the North and East and those in the south should be the Catholic Church. The Cardinal Malcolm R should know that better, because if he is a “chosen man” who has real “divine love” within him, he should know that all people irrespective of the ethnic differences are ” the children of God”- for him the Sinhala Buddhists may therefore be the “sheep” that had wandered away:

In the Parable of the Lost Sheep in Matthew 18:12-14, it is said, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth: he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.”

The parable can of course be interpreted in different ways, but in the context of the situation involved, the nonbelievers-the Sinhala Buddhists, could be the “sheep” to which it refers.

The coming together of people of different ethnicity is a cultural mixture that should be encouraged in the context of the cultures of our different communities in Sri Lanka, specially between the Tamils and the Sinhala.

“It is the foreign culture that had been forced on us for nearly 500 years along with a religion which is in no way related either to the Tamil culture or that of the Sinhala culture that may have eroded the cultural make up of the north and east.

Therefore, “”¦the erosion of the cultural make up of the north and east by colonisation of the Sinhala in the areas”, is a fallacious statement of the Cardinal MalcolmR to create fear and hatred in the minds of the Tamil people of North and East, against the Sinhala people who may decide to go to those areas to live. And for which they have every right.

 

Cardinal Malcolm R, says “”¦.We as Christians submit these specific recommendations to this Commission with the fervent hope that they will be considered seriously in order to heal the wounds of a painful conflict which traumatized our homeland for over thirty years, and to lay the foundation for a solid sense of peace and harmony in the future.”

We are afraid that from what we have seen so far in the Cardinal MalcolmR’s submission to LLRC, it is far from being an attempt to””¦.lay the foundation for a solid sense of peace and harmony in the future..”, but on the other hand it seems to be the same attempt that the terrorists made for 30 years with their guns and bombs to establish their Tamil homeland” , but without the guns and bombs by the Cardinal MalcolmR.

After his submission on Colonization he goes on to education stating that, “¦

“”¦”¦..a system of value education, through the dissemination of religious precepts found in the four major religions practiced in this country , and through the inculcation of values such as tolerance, respect for other’s rights, compassion, non-violent communication and non-violent conflict resolution, politics which does not harbour communal hate and a comprehensive programme of life-skills training for children and youth, any future resurgence of hate, division and terror should be effectively prevented”¦.”

The educational system of Sri Lanka cannot be blamed for terrorism or any other type of armed rebellion. There are other factors that draw groups of people to “terrorism” such as being manipulated into religious or political extremism.

Of course a better system of education should be found in separating the education system for lay students from the education system for the monks or other religious orders. In this respect the Catholic Church has its Seminaries, which unfortunately is not the same case with regard to the Buddhist monks, whose monastic-Pirivena education system had been disastrously substituted to admitting Buddhist monks to the Universities. That is a question that should be urgently attended to by the Government and the Nayaka Theros of the Asgiriya and Malwatte.

I agree with the Cardinal Malcolm R, on the subject of legalising gambling- If the Gaming Special Provision Bill recently enacted in the Parliament is to close illegal gambling houses, and attract tourism, it is wrong to have legalised gambling. The tourists coming to Sri Lanka for a Vacation should be given a Sri Lankan experience different from what is already available in the West and provided in their holiday resorts. Illegal gambling houses should be raided by the police, and closed by other legal provisions.

But his submission promoting trilingual education is short sighted, and affects the aspiration of a Sri Lankan Nationhood. The Official language should remain Sinhala. But a student at a pre-university entrance education level, for instance at GCE Ordinary Level, should be allowed to study, or make it obligatory to pass in two languages first the Official Language and the other a language of choice. English should be made the optional language. This should be looked into in depth.

If the problem is communication between the Government and the people and vice-versa , all candidates for Government Service Examinations should be required to pass an examination in Tamil. That would then be a requirement for Sinhala Candidates only.

Official National language should give the sense of belonging to the Nation to which one is born. It should not be accepted as making the person whose mother tongue is different from the Official language a second class citizen. It is the mental attitude that had been created by the self ambitious politicians, media and racist Tamils.

It is here the Catholic Church should move in as a conciliatory factor, to explain and make the Tamil people understand that accepting the Official language is by no means a confiscation of their rights as full citizens of Sri Lanka their motherland..

Then again the Cardinal MalcolmR, comes back to the question of colonization stating:

“It is observed by many that there are attempts made in the Northern & Eastern areas with new settlements to change the demographic situation of the people. This could be a dangerous trend if it is not addressed, unless the people are allowed to move in and move out in the proper way, without any colonization as such with or without the government approval. Because what can happen is, that there can be a psychosis or fear of a cultural invasion of villages and areas of the country considered to be predominantly of one group or the other. This can cause frictions and unnecessary clashes.”

This is an absurdity, just showing to what an extent the Cardinal Malcolm R, had been influenced by the terrorist Prabhakaran’s call for a separate Eelam State, if it is other wise how could he have said:

“,”¦.there can be a psychosis or fear of a cultural invasion of villages and areas of the country considered to be predominantly of one group or the other. This can cause frictions and unnecessary clashes.”.

Here I have to repeat what I had said before, that the 55 percent or more of Tamils living in the South has created an example of harmonious living together with the three main Communities Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim. In that situation why cannot we copy this model in the South in the North and the East ?

It should be mentioned that at no stage in the reconciliation process should the July,1983 taken as the point of departure. July 1983 incidents were a prearranged well prepared situation created by an interested India, with its RAW taking over a group of disgruntled youth ( you get them any where, in any country), brain washed them against the Sinhala Governments, and trained them as “terrorists” in a jungle clearing in South India:

” Indian Prime Minister VP Singh said in front of Jain Commission in Nov. 1996 about the forming LTTE terrorist network 1983. Mr. Singh said,” First batch of training of Sri Lankan Tamil militants was done by India in 1983 under the orders of then Prime Minister (Late) Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The camp was located at Chakrata, Tamil Nadu”

(http://southasian.maktoobblog.com/1638/indian-army-hindu-terrorists-nexus-sinister-fascist-2/)

RAW released these terrorist group in the North, ” The events dubbed Black July began after members of the rebels Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (the Tamil Tigers or the LTTE) organization ambushed a military convoy in the North of Sri Lanka on the evening of July 23, 1983 outside the town of Jaffna in the North of Sri Lanka.”(Wikipedia). Thirteen policemen had been assassinated and their fingers cut to remove the rings they were wearing.

This had been planned to instigate the anger of the Sinhala in the south, to make them start a back lash against the Tamils, which would leave a permanent scar in the minds of the Tamil people. The RAW succeeded very well in their sordid manipulation, resulting in the Sinhala people as a whole became to Tamils who left the Island directly from Jaffna, as the racist murderers and Sinhala supremacists, chauvinists and all the rest. That was also a situation for the Tamil politicians and other interested Tamils to ask for separation from the Sinhala racists.

That was all a well planned act which provided the desired results for all anti Sri Lankans, and for them to create what is now called the ” ethnic problem “. The Communal hatred began in the North where the Cardinal Malcolm R’s Church was very active, and the terrorists at least most of the leaders were Catholic or Christian . And when the Cardinal speaks of an education system he has to take the responsibility for what he says, as his Church and Christian schools in the North provided the education he pontificates below. Things may have been different if the Catholic Church thought about such an education system thirty years ago:

“Through a system of value education, through the dissemination of religious precepts found in the four major religions practiced in this country , and through the inculcation of values such as tolerance, respect for other’s rights, compassion, non-violent communication and non-violent conflict resolution, politics which does not harbour communal hate and a comprehensive programme of life-skills training for children and youth, any future resurgence of hate, division and terror should be effectively prevented.”

However, ” The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as the Sacrament of Penance, or Penance and Reconciliation) has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration. In it we find God’s unconditional forgiveness, and as a result we are called to forgive others.”

Would it therefore, not be timely that instead of talking of separation of the communities, they are brought together forgetting the past applying the “Catholic Sacrement of Reconciliation.” ?

One word in Conclusion. Reconciliation is not separation . It is to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent. Therefore in the process of reconciliation of the Tamils and the Sinhala there should not be conditions , there should not be a political devolution, there should be instead an attempt to reconcile the “hostile” parties, win them over to friendliness, make them become amicable.

Shouldn’t that be the Crusade of the Cardinal MalcolmR ?

9 Responses to “The Crusade of MalcolmR, should be a Crusade for Reconciliation…..”

  1. dhane Says:

    “Reading the Cardinal Malcolm R submission to the LLRC, one cannot help feeling that it would be better for him to manage his Church affairs with his new Status as Cardinal instead of poking his nose in to secular matters, to put chaos into an already troubled situation as he himself says”. This is true. One hero SF is already in big trouble poking his nose in politics. I wonder Pope appointed Malcolm R to look after the Catholic Church or failed “Home Land” concept????

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    Some people are fond of using the catch word “Colonization” referring to Sinhala people moving their residence to various parts of the country. We ask : can a People ‘colonize’ their own country ? No.

    If we use Rev. Malcolm Ranjit’s definition of ‘colonization’, Tamil people who came en masse to Colombo are ‘colonising’ the South.

    Colonization of Lanka was done by the true colonists, the Portuguese, the Dutch & the British. But for the Portuguese, there would be no Catholic Church. As revealed in these columns, untold harm was done to a then relatively stable Lanka by the advent of the Portuguese who came to trade & instead destroyed the Buddhist buildings & built their fortresses in Lanka. Have these colonial countries ever apologized to at least the Lankans of today ? No.

    Almost all the Sinhala People are ready to move forward in harmony, if others who appear to oppose harmony at present do the same.

    We are also curious to know what the Tamil Hindu group, which is the majority of Tamils in Lanka (not the Catholic group), think of Rev. Malcolm Ranjit’s statement. It is high time they appointed a spokesperson for the Hindu Tamils to speak out their views openly.

  3. Charles Says:

    Fran DiaZ

    You are quite correct. I thank you very much for pointing it out.

  4. Ben_silva Says:

    I agree with most of the tihngs, except religion.
    Religion is a dangerous mind virus that hinders clear thinking.Unfortunately, due to the passive nature of Buddhism, Nalanda Buddhists ended up in rivers of blood and Buddhism in the Silk route as well as Buddhism in Malaysia and Indonesia got wiped out. Passive people all over the world got wiped out or ended up in rivers of blood and religion did not help them even a tiny bit. The decline of the Chinese was linked to belief systems by Needham.The famed science fiction writer, Arthur C Clark, who once denigrated religion as “a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. He was so anti religion that he did not want any religeous rights at his funeral.
    Russell:. I regard it as a disease born of fear
    Einstein: A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Dump relegion as a thing of the past but keep and respect Buddhism as a part of our cultural heritage. What is needed now is to think smarter, work smater and harder and acquire new skills and knowledge, rather than trapped lin an era 500 yeras BC. If we stay trapped in te past, we will continue our decline. We need to investigate the cause of our decline and halt it. My opinion as to the cause of our decline is similar to that of Needham. India and China have progreesed by a massive amount after becoming secular and dumping religion. If we want to stay backward then hang on to religion.

  5. jayt Says:

    This is the one of the latest series of incidents created by an agency who had been involved in Sri lanka war. If Sinhalese ever had taken to study and analyse the work of this agency, thay have been sending thousand threatening messages thru similar way or creating similar indents to let Sinhalese know ” if you do not “accept “us we will settle Tamil all over your country and take over your country”.

  6. jayt Says:

    This is the one of the latest series of incidents created by an agency who had been involved in Sri lanka war. If Sinhalese ever had taken time to study and analyse the work of this agency, thay have been sending thousands threatening messages thru similar way or creating similar indents to let Sinhalese know ” if you do not “accept “us we will settle Tamil all over your country and take over your country”.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    I agree with Mr Ben Silva that some aspects of religion can be debilitating. The debilitating sides are the false interpretations of scriptures, (usually written long after the Master passes away and therefore may not be perfectly correct), & the overly ritual side. The Buddhist people of earlier days did not have weapons to defend themselves, nor did they have the internet. Today, Buddhist countries have both weapons & the internet to defend themselves, with the internet helping them to lay bare the truth before the world.

    Unfortunately, Lanka has got drawn into Tamil Nadu problems of Caste & Poverty, which factors are exploited by vested interests. Even today, Tamil Nadu has some 5 Million people of Dalit (Untouchable) origin. The Colonists of Lanka exploited this situation in Tamil Nadu, and some continue to do so even today.

    Consider this: (A) when the Teacher or Master of each religion was alive, there were no rituals, symbols, temples or churches. Only a direct EXPERIENCE was imparted to the follower/devotee, an experience so divine & blissful that the devotee simply followed the Master. Over a long period of time, with the demise of the Master, the true experience was lost and various wrong interpretations laid on the Teachings of the Masters.
    However, through the relicts, symbols, temples, churches, etc. the memory of the Masters is kept alive, but these items lack the pure spiritual bliss that a human being craves. Still, they do matter, we think, to inspire the one in need or the Seeker. But, excessive ritual only can mislead the Seeker to the material side of life.

    (B) The ‘No God” theory professed by most Buddhists is due to some earlier Hindu people in India who converted to Buddhism, rejecting the Laws of Manu which ties in Untouchability into the Hindu religion itself, in an attempt to rid Buddhism of the Hindu influence of Untouchability. See Rev. Walpola Rahula’s book “Teachings of the Buddha” (hard cover, page 37 in which the Buddha describes the state of Nirvana : “O bhikkus, there is the unborn, the ungrown, and unconditioned …. etc.” – to me this is a scientific description of the Godhead in each human being.

    (C) (1) Jesus said : “the Kingdom of Heaven is within You”. The true Heaven Jesus spoke of can be acquired through Meditation. (2) Buddha said “Truth is within You” – again acquired through Meditation. (3) the Higher Hindu Teachings, the Yogas, especially Raj Yoga, requires Meditation (within You). (4) Islam means “Peace & Purity”, & deep Peace & Purity are acquired through Meditation.
    Thus, we can see that the Essence of all Religions are the same – there is no quarrel about what all the Masters meant. The Godhead/Truth is within every single human being, waiting to be discovered – there is no inferiority or superiority of people, spiritually speaking, and this is the highest space in any human being. The Sacred Heart/Godhead or Truth is within all.

    In the present day, various factions use religious wars for MATERIAL gain. Needless FEAR of other people is another factor leading to war.

    I have learnt these things in the course of time through observing the world & its people. Please correct me if I am wrong. I have written the above with some reluctance, lest I be misunderstood.

    For further clarity, please listen to Prem Rawat on http://www.wopg.com.

  8. Ben_silva Says:

    I am glad that Fran Diaz understand me
    We have lost a good chunk of our only homeland and SB are the marginalized, voiceless group. In order to arrest the decline of SB’s, we need to concentrate on the economic front and the modern world, rather than waste time on fringe issues. The Tamils and Muslims are ahead of Buddhists on the economic front. To survive and win in the modern world, it is essential to acquire new skills and knowledge, develop critical thinking skills and also to think and work smarter. W should not allow religion to inhibit progress on the economic front or on defence. Also observe the status of those who have taken any religion too seriously. The number of practicing Christians are declining in UK. Apparently PM and the deputy PM of UK do not believe in any religion – not surprising.

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    So long as the wealth of a nation is measured through GDP, all Lankans are caught up in the material game of production of goods & services for the Global Market. We can easily lose all spiritual values in the quest for material well being and have a “lost” nation. This is fast happening in South Korea where GDP is high but the rate of suicide is phenomenal. How do we keep the balance between human well being & GDP while developing our country ? We should not accept failed economic theory as the way to go … Profit Motive alone will never satisfy the human Heart.

    The PQLI (Physical Quality of Life Index) is one way of measuring well being of a country, quite apart from GDP.

    Also, there is a comfort level of work & recreation, and religious activity, that when balanced gives that extra sparkle to life in any country. We must make sure we keep that balance.

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