Posted on November 10th, 2010

Harvey Perera

I feel compelled to write a response since so many had written in comments on the above topic. Sri Lanka has suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church for over 500 years since the invasion by the Portuguese. But the Buddhists have not forgotten. At every point in time the Buddhists treated the other races and religions with tolerance and compassion. In return they have been treated badly and the kindness has been mistaken for weakness. The Catholic Church has used the money and the power behind it to attempt to take over Sri Lanka and destroy Buddhism.

Here are some facts about the Catholic Church which no one can deny since it is history.

The Church was formed by the Emperor Constantine of Rome in 325 AD as a means of unifying various warring factions. It was he who first used the cross as a symbol for Christians. He did it to mainly hold the Roman empire which was collapsing, together.

Those who classify themselves as Christians can be divided into 2 broad groups: those who have chosen to allow the Bible to be their final authority and those who have chosen to allow men to be their final authority. For sake of simplicity, I shall refer to the first group as “Bible believing Christians.” The latter group has always been best represented by Roman Catholicism, by far its largest, most powerful, and most influential component.

The Catholic Church has a very bloody history of killing all who opposed them. Any bible believing Christians were slaughtered as part of the various Inquisitions. See . Martin Luther who was a Bishop in Germany, finally was sickened by the way the Pope was giving ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”DispensationsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ (forgiveness of sins) for money, and broke away from the Catholic Church to create the Lutheran Church.

That is a brief background of the Church. I am more interested in Sri Lanka and itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s suffering at the hands of the Church. When the Portuguese invaded Sri Lanka in 1505 they did with the sword in one hand and the bible in the other, so to say. Southern prominent Buddhist temples were burnt, the monks were killed and the libraries were set on fire. Stones from the places of learning were used to build fortresses, using local labor. Then the Dutch and the British came in and created the missionary schools which helped to convert people further, and gave pride of place to the minority Tamils who at the time were brought in as indentured labor. As a result when Sri Lanka achieved Independence in 1948, the Tamils were the elite English speaking educated class of people.

After Independence, with the establishment of the free education by the GoSL system, the Catholic Schools became renowned for the disciple and good education since some of the teachers who were priests were imported from abroad. The teachers for these schools were paid by the Sri Lanka Government which was paid by the Buddhist Sinhala tax payers.

In the 1950s the Catholic Church promoted the coup by ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-CoupƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ de Saram and Royce de Mel. It was put down and the culprits were jailed. Since then the Catholic Church has been aggressively pursuing a policy of conversion of the Buddhists by various means. Marriage into leading Buddhist families was the favorite where the children had to be Catholic. They have also taken over the private sector of Sri Lanka. In order to get a job in the private sector one has to be Catholic/Christian.

The 1983 riots were organized by some people who had money and access to a lot of things such as video cameras, electoral lists, drugs, and a good understanding of human psychology. The 1983 riots were well orchestrated with some men brandishing poles dressed in pure white ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-JatavasƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ and loin cloths (to look like Sinhalese), with video cameras strategically placed to video tape, means to send them by express to Western news media, and lists of houses which were mainly Hindu tamils (not Catholic or Christian Tamils) for attack. The businesses which were burnt in Colombo were mainly Sinhala Buddhist and Hindu owned businesses. No Catholic owned or Christian businesses were burnt. The three major cities of that time, London, Paris & Bonn (Germany) were manned by 3 Tamil diplomats appointed by JRJ. They were able to show the filmed riots and this allowed Tamil refugees to flood into the west. These people later funded the ltte. Was the Papal Nuncio deported from Sri Lanka after the first week of riots, by the then President JR?

The LTTE effort was backed heavily by the Catholic Church. None of the child abductions, use of children in fighting, the killing of innocent civilians was ever condemned by the Church. Bishop Reyappu Joseph was very vociferous in condemning the Sinhala forces while glossing over the LTTE atrocities. When the LTTE were destroyed, some 26 Catholic priests emerged out of the Wanni. Were they part of the advisory team to the LTTE. One of the priests who had received around 500 Tamil children for safe keeping had handed them over to the LTTE for training as child soldiers. It is high time the role of the Catholic Church was inquired into and exposed for what it was. The Sinhalese have been far too nice and tolerant for far too long. Even today the ltte rump is headed by Fr. Emmanuel, a Catholic priest. This means that the Catholic Church has used the LTTE to destroy the country and divide it so that Buddhism can be destroyed to allow Catholicism to take over the land. Already they are 7% of the country.

There are various groups who have a vested interest in using Sri Lanka.

The Tamil Nadu politicians who have been fanning the flames of hatred between the Sinhalese and Tamils want to take over Sri Lanka for the Tamils (especially the Dalits) since they failed in their attempt to separate from India.

The Catholic Church has been eyeing Sri Lanka for a long time. By taking over the island they get rid of Buddhism which is attracting a lot of Westerners and also gain more converts for themselves. It will be spring board for take off to India also.

The British and the West are interested in separatism in Sri Lanka since it will be a wedge they can drive to divide India. They divided India once and were very pleased since they were able to supply Nuclear weapons and arms to both sides very profitably. Next step is break up India into a whole lot of fractious groups who will all fight among them selves. This will prevent growth of India, prevent India from using up resources such as oil and wipe off a few more brown skins.

I weep to myself for being born a Sinhala Buddhist who must be the stupidest people on earth. Having inherited a rich culture handed down over 2500 years we seek to embrace the pariah culture of the west. We imitate the westerners better than they do. We love to drink wine, dance cheek to cheek, eat barbecued meat and look down on our peasants who still have some integrity left in them. Instead of going deep into Buddhism which is so pure, transparent and clear, we try to import fairy tale religions from the West. The Buddha gave us no crutches to hang onto may be that is why we prefer to take on fairy tale religions which want us to believe that corrupt priests in robes can give us salvation for our sins. Buddha did not provide a belief system instead he laid out a path for human beings to follow which would lead to Nibbana. He put the responsibility for our actions squarely on our selves. There is no one to forgive ourselves but us. The rich Colombians instead of providing the leadership and the guidance the country needs so badly are so hell bent on handing over the country to the foreign powers without the slightest guilt so long as they make some money out of the deal. Buddhism is complete in providing a code of ethics, morality to live by and shows the real nature of our being which is so very fragile and so very short and temporary. I long to see a day that our so called leaders start to see clearly and take the country on the right path.

In the end truth comes out however long it takes. Even though Sri Lanka has suffered for 500 years the true Sinhalese have not forgotten our culture. It is in the hearts and minds and it could not be destroyed even if the stones of the temples are destroyed. Buddhism is the truth and therefore cannot be destroyed.


  1. The Observer Says:

    I am one of those who deeply regrets what transpired in the country over the last 500 years. I have also suspected for long that the root of the problem in the country is the church, more particularly the Catholic church. If the nation is not to lose itself as it has in the past, it will need to be led by men with strong vision, who are also upright and clear-thinking. This is the need of the hour. I am not sure that the current leadership has the necessary breadth and depth of vision and character for this.

    But neither does the opposition. So… which way Sri Lanka? I really don’t know…

    The need of the hour must be met not with more and more Dutugemunus, but with a couple or more Parakramabahus. The Dutugemunus will fight amongst themselves, the Parakramabahus will not.

    I fervently wish the day will come, the age will dawn.

  2. M.S.MUdali Says:

    UNP, a Catholic/Christian party, burnt down the library in Jaffna. Few days ago some Sinhala “tourists” rioted in the same library. I hope the Sinhalese are still follow Portugeuse! Buddhism is a casuality now.

    Every big-shot from Colombo visit Jaffna and meet the Catholic Bishop there. Why? only 10% of the Jaffna population is Catholic. Sinhalese think the Catholic Church is their ally even after the Catholic Church publicly allied with LTTE.

  3. herman Says:

    Harvey Perera well written article and you’re absolutely right the Buddhist Sinhalas forgiveness and kindness of the Catholics / Christians had been often been mistaken for weakness.

    Some Buddhist monks are foolishly been drawn into the latest fad – inter-religious organization – which are fully exploited by the Catholics / Christians.

    We need dynamic monks and political leadership to deal with this problem and sadly this is lacking in SL for now!

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