Bishop Rayappu Joseph’s short sighted solution to “ethnic” problem in Sri Lanka.
Posted on January 18th, 2011

By Charles.S.Perera

Today the Catholic Church is very much  alive and awake in Sri Lanka, there is no one to check their uncalled for political mission  in favour of the Tamil Catholic congregation of faithful of the North an East, which makes one wonder whether the objective of the Catholic Church is its own prosperty and power in Sri Lanka rathan the salvation of  souls.

As it had always been, the Catholic Church does not take an interest in the country where it has built its Cathedral.  Its interest is more for  its faithful. Because it is on the  congregation of faithful it exists, like a parasite tick on  a dog.  When the Church smells that there are possibilities of enlarging its congregation of faithful, it goes for their conquest who ever they are, and  where ever they are.  In the terrorist  infested  north and east  of Si Lnka the Catholic Church flourished.

The South of Sri Lank is not fertile ground for the Catholic Church, because it has to compete with the  Buddhist Temple of the majority Sinhala, The Church cannot call those in South our people in the same voice it speak of ” our people ” of the North, how divided is it interest.  The Catholic  God loves only those who follows him, and to hell with others.  

The latest submission of Bishop Rayappu Joseph of the Catholic Diocese of Mannar is a missive for division rather than unity.  Catholicism introduced by the Portuguese Missionaries was to steal away the people of other faiths into its own fold and take their allegiance away from their motherland to the Church and the Colonial Ruler in Portugal and then to Rome. Today 500  years after, the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, blessed in Rome and deified  by the appointment of a Cardinal, continues to divide the Country, and  separate the Communities  for the cause of the congregation of the faithful.

In Sri Lanka the  duty of the Catholic Church goes beyond the  salvation of souls, to  chose for its congregation of the  faithful  the political path it should  follow to ensure the power of the Church.

The Catholic Church was imposed on Sri Lanka  by the Portugues conquering forces, through their accompanying Missionaries, to facilitate their task of keeping the colonised people under control and  the  establishment of the  Portuguese colonial rule in Sri Lanka.  It was like India imposing on us the 13th Amendment  to facilitate the Indian Peace Keeping Force to control terrorism in the Norh and East of Sri Lanka.

Rayappu Joseph’s submission curiously begins with the  same Western  preoccupation with regard to Sri Lanka,  of  human rights violations and extra judiciary killing.

In his  submission the Bishop  refers to only “ our people ” that is the Catholics. 2006 was a time that the terrorism was at its height and what happened to people and property in the North and the East is no secret. The suffering under, terrorism was not restricted to « our people or your people »,  because all people without an exception sufferd through terrorism.

The actual perpetrators of the crimes of burning Churches, mosques, or killing bus loads of Buddhist monks cannot  for certain be alluded to any one person  and the actul killers themselves cannot be found except that the teorrorist were behind those murders and mssacres. An act by any one of the terrorists becomes the responsibility  of the whole group of terrorists.You cannot accuse the Army as going round killing, people and burning Churches and mosques as the Army is not a terror group, but they were also the  likely victims of the terrorists.  The Army  fought for  the country and its population.

The Government Armed Forces defended all the people without exception , which is evident  in its remarkable humanitariation evacuation of the innocent Tamil Civilians kept as a human shield by the terrorist.  Bringing these Tamil Civilians to safety risking their own lives was a  daring act unque in the history of warfare .  The terrorists in the face of  a count down to death and elimination   resorted to  ultimate terror, shooting any thing that moved not caring whether it was an escaping civilian or soldiers rescuing the civilians.

Despite all that the  Catholic Clergy want to know  the truth as to who killed who.  Under the circumstances that prevailed can the Catholic Church  which is seeking the truth pretend the killers were the Armed Forces and the terroists were ” innocent”  bystanders ?  What or for whose agenda is the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka acting posing these absurd questions  ?

A Cardinal and several  Bihops of the Catholic Church have already presented several submissions to the LLRC  every one of them calls for a negotiated political solution.  And they still want more time now  for « our people »,  having  already usurped for themselves, the time  allocated to the people of the region to mak their submissions. 

Rayappu Joseph states in his submission, « “¦Although LTTE and other Tamil armed groups have caused much suffering, their actions were prompted by the failure of successive governments to respond favorably to Tamil’s efforts to resolve their problems through peaceful and political means. While acknowledging the part played by LTTE and other armed groups in the suffering of the people, we wish to point out that the state military and their secret agents are feared more by the people and are held responsible for much of their woes. »

The Mannar Bishop’s submission was more a pleading to absolve the terroists of the crimes they have committed , and to put the blame on the previous successive govenments. The Mannar Bishop says  the people fear more Military and the Secret Agent of the government.

The LLRC will be examining submissions made to them to sort out lies, exagerations,and misinformation to establish the  truth. In that context the  Rayappu Joseph’s contenion « “¦Although establishing the truth is not explicitly mentioned in your mandate. » is an impertinent uncalled for remark belittling the task entrusted to the Commissioners of the LLRC.

Rayappu Joseph among other matters  in his submission to LLRC states, « “¦. It is our belief that this culture of impunity over the years, led to more and more crimes against Tamil civilians during the course of the conflict. Measures such as forgiveness, amnesty are only possible when there is genuine acceptance and repentance of wrongs done and the truth is acknowledged  »

This is strange as in  Sri Lanka  there had been no culture of impunity. These are phrases concocted to mislead situations and discredit the Government. The terrorist had continued their campaign of terror in the North and East .  It is not the government that should be held responsible for the crimes committed by the terrorists without leaving incriminating traces of evidence that lead to them, but they signed their crimes from the style and method of their execution.  The Government did not commit any crimes against the Tamil Civilians during the conflict that require repentance.

Rayappu Joseph seems to be misinterpreting the situation that existed during the  conflict, in favour of the terrorists.  This makes  one wonder whether it is not the Catholic Church in Rome acting along with the anti Sri Lanka Western Govrnments instigating  the Catholic priests in Sri Lanka, after making one of them a Cardinal, to implicate the Government of Sri Lanka for the crimes committed by the terrorist. 

If not what other  “truth”  do the Catholic clergy in Sri Lanka want the government to establish ? 

Rayappu Joseph  says, « “¦It is our earnest appeal that the LLRC will give high priority to establish in public the truth of what has happened in the course of conflict and war. »

Everybody who was hiding when the terrorists were running riot killing every one they wanted  to kill, when and where they wanted to kill , using pistol gangs, snipers,  grenard lobbers and claymore bombs were holding the people of the North and East to ransom, not coming  forward to ask questions ,  are  now up in arms against the Government .  The  Catholic Priests  themselves  have already made more than threee or four  submission to the LLRC against the Government Armed Forces in accusory terms.

The  Bishops and the Clergy of the  Catholic Church,  unlike Ban Ki Moon,  were not outside Sri Lanka during the period of the terrorism to ask the government to now establish the truth of what happend in the course of the conflict and war.  The Priests of the Catholic Church were in fact inside the war Zone with the terrorists and they should know better what went on. 

Sri Lanka Armed Forces have nothing to hide. Every thing they did was to eliminate terrorism and bring to safety the Tamil Civilians held by the terrorists as a human shield.  The Sri Lanka Army was a disciplined Armed Force and they conducted the military operations against the terrorists avoiding damage to Tamil Civilians. 

Under a caption « Importance of Political Solution”,  the Mannar Bishops- Joseph, Sousai and Croos say that the Tamils having their own identity, culture, language, religion and trditional habitations  have to be recognised along with other habitants.

The statement  seems to have been made for the outside world to believe that the Tamils  are treated differently.  But the truth is  that the Tamils , Sinhala and Muslims  all of them have their own identity, culture , language, religion and traditional habitations, and  they are all recognised as Sri Lankans.

There is no different political solution to follow, as  the existing political system has no evident defect. The only problem is that the Catholic Church  seems to want the Tamils in the North and East treated as a  Community apart from the rest of the Communities.

The Constitution does not treat any Community differently . The Constitution is for all Sri Lankans. If there is a notion that the Tamils as a community is treated differently in the Constitution it is because the Tamils would like to stand out of the  Sri Lankan National identity.  It is an attitude  created by the Tamil Political leaders and the religious leaders like, Malcolm Ranjith and Rayappu Joseph and the rest.

That is why the Tamils should give up their narrow communal  identity to become full fledged Sri Lankans.  This is what the Catholic Church should do,  which is to unite the communities into  Sri Lankans instead of peddling their   bogus Church made political theories of division, disunity, hatred  and animosity. Where is th “love” of the Catholic God in all that ?

The Submissions to the  LLRC by the  Catholic Clergy in Sri Lanka beginning fom Malcolm Ranjith  ,Rayappu Joseph to Kingley Swampillai have gone beyond their vocation for  spiritual dispensation to the congregations of faithful- the  salvation of souls, to political agitation better left for the politicians.

During the 30 years of war the Terrorists demanded a separate Eelam State, they spread this message in their heroes day speeches and at several negotiations.  The Norwegian Solheim, American Rober O Blake, and a host of other Western Diplomats and Minsters continued to demand a political solution to the problelm,  and now  Rayappu Joseph in his submission to LLRC makes the same demand , « “¦”¦ While a political solution to the conflict is essential, we would like to highlight several immediate issues that need to be addressed to ensure that we move forward on the path to reconciliation. Without addressing these needs, people affected by the war will not be able to move towards reconciliation and neither will they have any confidence or hope in any reconciliation process initiated at macro level. » 

He stresses the suspision that the Government is not objective and will withhold redress to the Tamil people affected by terrorism.  Rayappu Joseph  makes demands which are unfortunately not in the interest of the ordinary Tamil people ,  but in the Catholic Church’s proper interest pretending  to  be the saviors of the  Tamil people defending thei interest, inorder  to win them over to the Church  through heir innocent gratitude .

Rayappu Joseph then comes to a rather vexing issue which had already been treated by Malcolm Ranjith «  Demographic changes and colonization ».  In Sri Lanka there cannot be colonizations, not any more. Colonization is defined as setting up  colonies  by developped countries.  Rayappu Joseph must have been thinking of his Colonial benefactors of the past who have blessed him with a Bishopry, the result of his forefather conversion to a foreign religion.

In Sri Lanka with the elimination of  terrorists a new chapter has opened, where the past differences have to be changed to find new avenues for promoting unity, peace and a Sri Lankan Nationhood.  The whole of Sri Lanka belongs to Sri Lankans. In that dawn of  equality of status of all citizens North and East of sri lanka cannot stand strictly reserved for one community.

Therefore, more Sinhala and Muslim people should be allowed to settle down  in the North and East making these two provinces representative of all Communities, living harmoniously together as it is in the South of Sri Lanka. Rayappu Joseph who repeats  Malcolm Ranjith is undoubtedly pronouncing a decision taken by the Catholic Church to keep North and East for the Tamils without changing the existing demography.

If the Catholic Church has come forward to oppose any members from the  other communities settling down in the North and East it is a very un-Christian move and a  shameless interfernece into the right of the citizens of Sri Lanka,  their freedom to live where ever they  want to live.   In supporting such a racial view Catholic Church will only be defending today the same objectives for which the terrorists  created hell on earth for innocent Tamil Civilians in the North and the East.

The Catholic Church instead of being alarmed of the news as Rayappu Joseph says in his submission that, « “¦. we are alarmed at reports that there are plans to handover land to large number of people from outside the district”¦”¦»,  should be happy that North and East of Sri Lanka is not going to be isolated any more from the rest of the country, but it would instead be a part and parcel of the whole of Sri Lanka. 

There is  no question of historical habitations of Tamil people in the North and the East, that again is a often made declaration of the terrorists that Rayappu Joseph  seems to have burrowed from them, now claiming, perhaps in memory of the terrorist Prabhakaran, to   keep the North  and East only for the Tamils.  There were Sinhala people already  residing in the North and East before they were made to leave their homes by th terrorists. 

Rayappu Joseph states that, « “¦..There is suspicion amongst historical inhabitants in the district that these are part of a government plan to bring about demographic changes in terms of ethnic and religious composition of the districts and the Northern Province as a whole. Such efforts in the past have been a key factor that led to the conflict, war and violence”¦”¦ »

But contrary to Rayappu Joseph’s above contention, a good mixture of communities with different cultures in the North and East will keep those Provinces free from ethnic conflict and would give an opportunity for all communities to live harmoniously together respecting each others culture, religion and language.  If there would be conflicts it is the duty of Rayappu Joseph and other religious and  political leaders to pacify the people and make them understand the necessity to evolve as a nation togther with other communitie.

About the Military presence of the North and East  Rayappu Joseph states in his submission that,  « Almost 20 months after the end of the war and after more than a year since the resettlement process started, we are disturbed that there is a heavy military presence in Mannar district particularly in recently resettled areas of Manthai West, Madhu and Musali divisions. This is something most Tamil civilians fear and not happy about, due to the many negative experiences they have had in the past. Many activities and decisions that should be attended to by civil authorities are still being handled by the military. »

This is really an area where the Catholic Church if it has any  influence over the Tamil people, to inform them that they should be ever grateful to the Sri Lanka Armed Force, as what ever freedom, peace of mind, and tha ability to speak up for their rights  they have now, is th result of the immense sacrifice the  Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Armed Force made on their behalf to redeem the land they occupy from the  cuelty of terrorim, where they were not able to move freely, and assure the safety of their children from being kidnapped to  swell the  terrorist cadres.

The Armd Forces should be pemanently based in the North and East, not only to stop any future terrorism  to raise its frightful head  in the  Provinces but also to defend the North and East from any expansionist move by any foreign county or  by a forced militay occupation  by any powers  wanting to station themselves in the North to prevent  Chinese, Indian or Russian influence in the Indian Ocean.

 Sri Lanka should  establish Army Camps in strategic areas and provide living quarters for the Army personnel with an appropriate housing poject  fo married staff.  The Police Force should also be similarly well entrenched, in these areas with  living qaurters for the Single and Married officers.

That is a necessity about which no body, the Church the Hindu temples or the Interntionl Community should interfere to dictate terms.  Many are the Soldiers who had fertilised the soil of both North an East with their blood and they have therefore a right to be a part of the North and East of Sri Lanka, and through them their fmilies and their children have acquired a right to belong to North and East. And that is  a greater right  than that of those who  acclaim a religion strange to the Sri Lankan Soil.

Rayappu Joseph’s submission shows the pre-occupation of the  Catholic Church in its inability to make martyrs of the dead terrorist, pointing out  to cancellation of religious  services to remember  and prey for the «c ivilians killed or missing ».  In this respect it is pertinent to ask Rayappu Joseph whether the Catholic Church had any special service in their Churches for the Soldiers who died in liberating the  people of the North and East from the terrorists, and  povided security to their Church in Madhu and  for repairing it by the army personnel ?

As far as the Government and the General population is concerned  the North and East should continued to b kept in surveillance not to allow any one trying to make any attemp to separate the Tamil people in the North and East from the rest of the population in Sri Lanka.  This the Catholic Clergy in the North do not want to understand as they are themelves keen in keeping the North and East  an enclve of the Tamil people who will be obedient to their religious demands.

Rayappu Joseph also seems to have a desire to have a presence of the NGOs in the area .   The presence of NGOs should be controlled and their activities constantly surveyed as their agendas are quite different from those of the Government of Sri Lanka-  which is  to unite the communities after the elemination of terrorists, and bury for good the North, South, East and West  difference, integrating all into one whole Sri Lanka.

Eventually the Rayappu Joseph comes to the biggest challenge of the Catholic Church- its nightmare the Buddhism.  Buddhim is the religion of the Sinhala people of Sri Lanka before the birth of Christ  and  the advent of Christinity.  It is the Buddhism that is the identity of the culture of the  people of Sri Lanka. Other religions such as Christianity and Islam  are recent religious faiths compared to Buddhism and Hinduism.  On he othe hand Catholicism and Christianity  have their  beginning in the Colonialization of our country  by the Portuguse, the Dutch and the British and it is a religion foreign to our culture.  There had been Buddhist places of worship in the North and the East long before Catholocism was introduced by the foreign conquerors.

Rayappu Joseph states in his submission that, “”¦.Building a Buddhist place of worship (Pansala) in Murunkan Town where there was a Hindu Kovil is something that has caused a lot of concern, particularly as there is no Buddhist population in this area. Erections of Buddhist statues in prominent public places in many new locations in the North have also made our people fearful of Buddhist domination of majority Hindhu, Christian and Islamic areas.”

Rayappu Joseph should understand  that, the Budhist temples and Stupas stand for peace an unity.  The Buddhist priests unlike the Catholic Clergy have always called for the unity of the  Communities.  It is the tolerance of the Buddhists that had allowed the Catholic Church to become so voiferous in speaking for th people of the North and East. 

The  Hindu Culture of the Tamil people and Budddhism are closely related and  it will continue to foster unity between the Sinhala and Tamil pople.  The Hindu Kovils have a statue of the Buddha and the Buddhist temples often hav statues of Hindu Gods in their temple premises.  Therefore the building new temples and Dagabas in the North and East will bring the two communities together both spiritually in worship, and  physically in the participation in each other’s religious ceremonies and festivals. 

It is  the Catholic Church that will stand strangely outside the religious and culturl back ground of the two communities- the Buddhist Sinhala and Hindu Tamil, as it is every where in Sri Lanka.

7 Responses to “Bishop Rayappu Joseph’s short sighted solution to “ethnic” problem in Sri Lanka.”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Kasippu Joseph is drunk with Tamil racism. Once he ran away with a valuable statue into deep Tamil Tiger controlled area when SLDFs approach the holy shrine. He must be told in no uncertain terms that there is NO TAMIL HOMELAND IN SL.

  2. Sri Rohana Says:

    Rayappu Joseph is not a bishop he is another racist tamil terrorist in white cloak.

  3. Leela Says:

    Rev. Rayappu Joseph, the Mannar Bishop had put all the obstacles for Norachcholai coal power project ever since it was proposed in the nineties. If it was built when it was proposed it would have been finished by now and, the whole country would have benefitted. Electricity board may not have got in to severe debt and consequently the cost of electricity would have been much cheaper. Being a LTTE sympathizer, Bishop Joseph didn’t want Sri Lankan general public to have a better life; all he wanted was to divide this country. Now that he failed in both, no wonder he goes to LLRC to moan about.
    Leela

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Catholic conversions will go on until the Hindu caste system ceases or at least is less pronounced …. and some Buddhist will convert to gain Catholic school education, jobs, travel abroad, etc.

  5. aravinda Says:

    Rayappu Joseph is disappointed about the emergence of peaceful and united Sri Lanka. One would expect the Church to take a harmonious stand in troubled times. What Mr.Joseph did was to fish in the troubled waters, and he failed. It is the duty of Catholic Church in the other parts of the country to put some sense in to this individuals mind.
    He has forgotten incredible crimes committed by LTTE, many crimes unheard in human history. He should NOT be allowed to poison minds of young people in his congregation. Just like all other Sri Lankans, Tamils too have sufferred in last 60 years, but Rayappu’s ability to sow discord will only exasperate these problems.

  6. Kit Athul Says:

    Truth is coming out slowley. Go to tamilnet.com and you can see for your self. Bishop Rayappu Joesph’s brother was Antony Rayappu alias Yaan. He was the LTTE commander of Mannar district. Some how his wife and children escaped to SL Army area. When her husband disguised as a begger, tried to crossover, LTTE shot and killed him. Now his wife says to the LLRC, that the Army killed him and she saw the shooting.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    There are many lies stated by Tamil people abroad in order to get the sympathies of those countries authorities. What the ltte did to their own people is being foisted on SL Army. Some priests of the Catholic Church & some NGOs (Amnesty Int) purports to believe all these lies and transmits them to the authorities abroad. Authorites abroad believes Catholic priests & NGOs. So in the long run, as no one can stop the ltte rump & sympathizers lying, the high ups of the Catholic Church & some NGOs have to be held responsible.
    We do not hear the newly appointed Cardinal of Lanka condemning the priests who are supportive of the ltte rump, do we ? Neither do we hear of Amnesty Int. condemning the same ! Wither justice ?

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