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The Grand Strategy of the Christian Churches in Sri Lanka

Chandrasoma replies to Prof. Hudson McLean

I do not wish to reply at length to the rambling and sadly unfocussed article by Prof. Hudson Mclean ( Lankaweb Latest News - April 11, 2002 ). That he has undergone some kind of spiritual regeneration is evident from the many hallelujahs for peace interspersed throughout his article and its prayerful conclusion. I have nothing against pious folk. However, his evident fancy to see me as the devil is disconcerting - even if we concede that within the Judaeo-Christian tradition, seekers of righteousness have to cope with the machinations of the devil. I am not an agent of Satan sent down to foment violence among the generally peaceful and sluggish Sinhala-Buddhist. I wish I had such charismatic powers. What I stated in my previous article - in response to the unbridled polemic of Prof. McLean - was that, far from being an agent provocateur, I was merely acting as a spokesperson for the many Sinhala-Buddhists who feel strongly on these matters but find a free expression of their views stifled for a variety of reasons - not the least of which is the alien tongue that the rulers of this country have adopted as the instrument of governance and communication. I find it baffling that I should be branded as the 'enemy within' for acting as a communication channel for a community largely sidelined and ignored by those ensconced (briefly) in power.

Despite my very explicit denial, Prof. Mclean repeatedly accuses me of inciting feelings of hatred towards the Sinhala Christians and of pushing the nation in the direction of another civil war. He speaks glowingly of the idyllic conditions that prevailed in this fair Isle at the time of the departure of the Colonialists - when Christians, Hindus and Buddhists were 'free and equal' Let us not get dragged into painful controversy on this issue - the 'Banda Revolution of 1956' would not have occurred in a smiling land of racial co-equals. Be that as it may, the 'Traditional Christians' of Lanka are, by and large, a prosperous and well-adjusted lot and it makes no sense for the Sinhala Buddhists to muddy the waters by seeing them as covert Eelamists. To my knowledge, nobody has advocated such dangerously fissiparous views - certainly, not me. Indeed, some leading Sinhala Christians are in the vanguard of the movement against Pirapaharan. One has only to think of an individual like Mr S L Gunasekera who is a far better patriot than most of the self-styled 'leaders' of the Sinhala-Buddhist community.

We do, however, have a problem with the so-called 'Charismatic Churches' that have deployed undercover proselytizers and spent vast sums to convert the poor Buddhists of this country. In this context we see the outlines of a grand strategy - a 'synergy' or collaboration skillfully and purposefully executed - to make the Sinhala-Buddhists 'second class' in their own country. As explained at some length in my articles 'Resurgent Christianity in a Devitalized Nation' and 'Moribund Buddhism attracts Cultural predators' the key players are the hierarchical authority in the Established Churches, Globalized Big-Business and the Eelamist Movement of Velupillai Pirapaharan. The mere statement of this proposition raises the hackles of the 'Peace Vendors' who see this as the opening of a new battlefront in a nation already torn and wracked by war. This is a wanton misunderstanding of the position we advocate. Just as children in the North and East must be protected from the predations of the press-gangs of Pirapaharan's marauding forces, our Buddhist Poor and their children must be protected from the cultural depredations of a rampaging monotheism that has big bucks behind it. Is this a call to arms? Is it the work of the Devil? Is it the work of diabolical agents determined to break the glorious peace that prevails in this Island? Dear readers, make your own judgment. Let not the specious 'peace rhetoric' of pious professors in peaceful retirement distract you.

A few concluding words - I am not a hired 'scribe' using a facile pen to undermine something called the 'MOU' by Prof. McLean. Most Sinhala-Buddhists find it incomprehensible that there can be an 'understanding' with a maniacal killer, wanted by Interpol for mass murder, and by India for the assassination of its former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Are we stupid? Dear readers, find your own answer.

R. Chandrasoma


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