No UNHRC when Portuguese destroyed Buddhist Temples and erected Catholic Churches on top of destroyed Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka during the Portuguese era (1505 – 1658)
Posted on July 22nd, 2016

Senaka Weeraratna

Desecration of Kelaniya Viharaya by the Portuguese: The destruction of the sacred temple Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya was iconic of the near annihilation of Buddhist temples and Buddhism during the time of the Portuguese invasion of Sinhale

destructionof kelaniya

Wall Paintings at the Aluth Vihara Ge or the New Image House at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya (Kelaniya Temple).

destructionof kelaniya2

The paintings above done by Solius Mendis show the destruction of the Kelaniya Temple in 1578 under the Portuguese rule

destructionof kelaniya3


See article

Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing


Sesha Samarajiwa

I am at the ancient Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya in Sri Lanka. I have come to this sacred Buddhist place seeking some sorely needed serenity. In a great hallway there, I see once again a painting – a panel of paintings – that tells a familiar story of brutal intolerance. It shows an army of Portuguese soldiers destroying this very temple. In fact, they did set fire to this sacred place and partially destroyed it. They also confiscated the temple, banning Buddhists from entering the precincts. Later, the Buddhists reclaimed and rebuilt the temple 200 years later under the auspices of King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe.

But the stark reminder of historic injustice and intolerance on the wall made my eyes mist over. And it kindled deep within me a spark of outrage, for it dawned on me, as clear as the blue sky outside, that nothing much had changed in our world; the same mindset that drove those long-dead Portuguese aggressors still fuels today’s oppressive trespassers.

So in a tea shop with a view of this achingly beautiful temple – a sacred temple my people had built over 2300 years ago years ago in honor of their Beloved Master, a temple which had withstood much tribulations – I began to sketch this essay.

Pests from the West

Evangelists belong to a long line of pests from the West who have come and keep coming like locusts to colonize our souls and cannibalize our cultures. I have in mind the whole bandwagon: Mormons who hunt in pairs, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Anabaptists, Church of This and the Church of That, well-heeled evangelists of a mind-boggling array of corny creeds and cults, all of whom, in slick American style, are engaged in aggressive marketing and PR campaigns to boost their ranks and their coffers with suckers from the East. Of course, they command the money, the power and the technologies to back their campaigns, their fishing missions.

The main entrance way to the magnificent Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya. It’s construction is credited to Prince Uttiya, brother of King Devanmpiyatissa. Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka during this monarch’s reign, in 306 BCE to be precise.

The latest incursions are merely a continuation of the 500-year-old sorry saga of Asia, Africa and South America, which began with the arrival of the Portuguese and the Spaniards. Some have never recovered from the machinations of their priests and the savagery of their conquistadors. The baton of imperialism has passed from the Europeans to the Americans. That is not to say that the rest of the West has dropped out. They have not. They are very much in the game. It’s just that the Americans are in the lead, the new Romans on the rampage.

Carrots and sticks, time-tested tricks

The old tricks still work. Priests from the West come to the East. They tell the natives that good things will happen now and in the afterlife if only they accept their blond, blue-eyed god as their savior. Otherwise, the prospects would be dreadful.

Now, close your eyes, and let us pray,” says the priest. Let us pray that the god of your conquerors will save your miserable, heathen souls. Let him carry your burdens, give you comfort, so that when you die, you can enjoy eternity sitting on his lap. Every Sunday, let the blood of the lamb wash your sins away, so that you can live to sin another day. If you don’t, you’ll roast in hell forever. So, let us eat the flesh of our god and drink his blood to make sure that doesn’t happen!”

An image of Gautama Buddha.

Sri Lanka is the world’s oldest, and continuous Buddhist country.

So we shut our eyes tight, clutch our bibles tighter and we pray. When we open our eyes, we have the bibles, while the canny comforters and their kind have our land, our blind allegiance and even our pennies, which can multiply into a tidy sum for the ‘spiritual’ cartel. Carrots and sticks. Time-tested tricks.

Cannibalizing Cultures

We know well how the Europeans won the West. They won it through mass genocide of the native populations in North and South America. In South America, hundreds and thousands of natives who resisted conversion were garroted. There is a poignant painting depicting such conversions. It shows armored Spanish soldiers garroting native priests, while a Spanish priest holds up a large cross. More terrified natives await their turn. On the side, another Spanish priest feeds stacks of ancient gold-leaf books of the Mayans into a fire. On the face of the Mayan priests, a look of utter sadness mixed with resignation.








A visit to Mani, Yucatán

by John M. Grimsrud

Mani is a small quaint, quiet and tranquil Mayan village 80 kilometers south south-east of the capital city of Mérida. Nearby is the shoe and pottery manufacturing city of Ticul plus the garden market capital of Yucatan, Oxkutzcab.

Mani is also situated on the age-old seldom traveled but famous Ruta de Los Conventos’.

This seemingly unpretentious diminutive settlement has the incredible distinction of being continuously inhabited by one of the most technically advanced civilizations the world had ever known for the past 4,000 plus years… an astonishing and impressive claim to fame that few places on this planet could proclaim.

Today minute and modest Mani is serenely passive but this off-the-highway rural community was once the tragic site of one of the most heinous degradations of cultural heritage and spiritual annihilation that this world has ever witnessed.
January 6th, 1542 the Spanish conquistadors established a permanent encampment on the Yucatan peninsula at the height of their fanatic inquisition fired religious rampage.
This was a mere fifty years after the first Spanish explorer; Christopher Columbus set foot upon the New World at the Bahamas Islands.

Between 1549 and 1559 under the tyrannical direction of Fray Juan de Mérida the enslaved indigenous Maya were forced to pull down their ornate astronomically oriented sacred temples that pre-dated Christianity by thousands of years and with the remnants build a Catholic church and convent upon their native soil.

The inquisition crazed conquistadors inflamed by self-righteousness were mandated by their God to plunder the Yucatan’s indigenous residents whom they deemed to be heathen heretics that worshiped ancient pagan gods in false temples indulging themselves in unholy sacrifices which they had been doing for more than three very un-Christian millenniums.
The Spanish inquisitionists were by this point in time well practiced in ethnic cleansing and imperialistic expansionism having successfully purged the Iberian peninsula of the Jews and Moors.
In spite of the 500 years of degradation, slavery and absolute plunder of the Mayan civilization it is a remarkable attribute to these long suffering original inhabitants of Yucatan that they still to this day perpetuate the sacred rituals of their ancestors, speak in their original Mayan tongue and even dress in their traditional custom.
To this day the Mayan daily partakes of the culinary specialties of their ancestors.
These Maya are the people that brought the human race such things as corn (maize), tobacco, chocolate, cotton, tomatoes, pineapple, peanuts, chili peppers and turkeys that have all impacted mankind monumentally to this day.
Besides a myriad of food products the indigenous of the Yucatan introduced to global humanity they also were the hemispheric healers armed with thousands of medicinal plants that even now enhance more than 500 American prescription drugs.
Quinine and ipecac are still standards of the pharmacy but cannabis and hallucinogenic mushrooms eased pain and altered the mental state that were but a few in the huge inventory of medicinal remedies dispensed by these technologically advanced original inhabitants.

What the Mayan received in return from the Spanish conquistadors were horses, rats, cockroaches, pigs, weeds, fruit trees and thousands of men all infused with diseased petulance that unleashed a pandemic that rapidly dwindled the indigenous populace.
Smallpox murdered more native Americans than several hundred years of systematic Spanish slaughter.
There definitely was some pay-back involved when the Indigenous of America sent home to Europe syphilis with Christopher Columbus that became epidemic by 1495, along with tobacco and cannabis to smoke. The great exchange saw winners and losers on both sides.

To further plunder these overrun indigenous, in 1562 Fray Diego de Landa burned and destroyed

5,000 Mayan figures of their God, 13 altars, 27 parchment books made of deer hide and 197

decorated pottery containers of worship.
All of this was done to drive these heartless heathens” to Christianity.
From the book Genesis” by Eduardo Galeano; 1562: Mani page 137

The Fire Blunders

Fray Diego de Landa throws into the flames, one after the other, the books of the Mayas.
The inquisitor curses Satan, and the fire crackles and devours. Around the incinerator, heretics howl with their heads down. Hung by the feet, flayed with whips, Indians are doused with boiling wax as the fire flares up and the books snap, as if complaining.

Tonight, eight centuries of Mayan literature turn to ashes. On those long sheets of bark paper, signs and images spoke: They told of work done and days spent, of the dreams and the wars of a people before Christ. With hog-bristle brushes, the knowers of things had painted these illuminated, illuminating books so that the grandchildren’s grandchildren should not be blind, should know how to see themselves and see the history of their folk, so they should know the movements of the stars, the frequency of eclipses and prophecies of the gods and so they could call for rains and good corn harvests.

In the center, the inquisitor burns the books. Around the huge bonfire, he chastises the readers. Meanwhile, the authors, artist-priests dead years or centuries ago, drink chocolate in the fresh shade of the first tree of the world. They are at peace, because they died knowing that memory cannot be burned. Will not what they painted be sung and danced through the times of the times?

When its little paper houses are burned, memory finds refuge in mouths that sing the glories of men and of gods, songs that stay on from people to people and in bodies that dance to the sound of hollow trunks, tortoise shells, and reed flutes.

As atonement for destroying the books of one of the greatest civilizations the world had known obliterating their art, literature, mathematics, astronomy and medicines Fray Diego de Landa wrote a document of the conquerors view entitled; Relation de Cosas de Yucatan”.


In places like India and Sri Lanka, they were no better. They too faced abject horrors. In his book, Christianity’s scramble for India, Navaratna Rajaram says that the Christian Missionary is neither a Christian nor a missionary. In fact, he is a racist and a white supremacist in priestly guise.”

The cruelty of the Christians when converting the natives of places like Sri Lanka, India and the Philippines is well documented, but I can offer just a small sample here.

As Senaka Weeraratna asserts in this article, Repression of Buddhism in Sri Lanka by the Portuguese:

The Portuguese imperial agenda was to create discord in the country and then take maximum advantage of the situation for their benefit in terms of siphoning off wealth from Sri Lanka and converting Buddhists into Christianity, who then in their calculation would remain loyal to the Portuguese Crown rather than to the Sinhalese Kings of the land.”

Even if in less barbaric form, this was the agenda of the later colonial masters from Europe – the Dutch and the British.

The insidious destruction of culture

When people adopt an alien religion, it is not just a religion they adopt, but an alien way of life. Such people celebrate not so much local traditions, but the festivals and high points of Jews, Christians and Arabs and whichever colonial master they had.

One of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in the world, the Kelaniya Temple epitomizes refined Sinhala aesthetics. Buddhism fashioned the culture of the Sinhala. This Path — from which the Sinhala have derived their spiritual sustenance — is intrinsic to their heritage.

In his masterly travelogue, Among the Believers – An Islamic Journey, V S Naipaul shares his intimate insight into the ways an alien religion destroyed indigenous cultures. This is an extract from a speech he gave in 1990. Listen to Naipaul.

Because I was soon to discover that no colonization had been so thorough as the colonization that had come with the Arab faith. Colonized or defeated peoples can begin to distrust themselves. In the Muslim countries I am talking about, this distrust had all the force of religion. It was an article of the Arab faith that everything before the faith was wrong, misguided, heretical; there was no room in the heart or mind of these believers for their pre-Mohammedan past. So ideas of history here were quite different from ideas of history elsewhere; there was no wish here to go back as far as possible into the past and to learn as much as possible about the past.

Now, traveling among non-Arab Muslims, I found myself among a colonized people who had been stripped by their faith of all that expanding intellectual life, all the varied life of the mind and senses, the expanding cultural and historical knowledge of the world, that I had been growing into on the other side of the world. I was among people whose identity was more or less contained in the faith. I was among people who wished to be pure … No colonization could have been greater than this colonization by the faith.”

Naipaul describes the effects well. Christianity and Islam are just two sides of the same intolerant coin.

Cruel Custers and Cortezes

Their Buffalo Bills and their Wild Bills, their Custers and their Cortezes, and the long line of predators and priests made sure that the sorry remainder of once-proud nations would remain so, while they ruled the roost in lands drenched with native blood. Many weaker cultures succumbed to the relentless onslaught from the West. They either slaughtered those who resisted or they sowed the seeds of abjection and their eventual self-destruction.

Even today, we see the pathetic dregs of once-noble nations staggering around native reservations and barrios in North and South America, in Australia, in Canada, in New Zealand. They have lost their spirit. They have lost their will to live. They seem embarrassed to be alive. They are self-destructing. At best, they are performing monkeys titillating whites with a thirst for the exotic. These are abject peoples, vanishing tribes.

Now, not satisfied with ruling their large chunk of raided real estate, they are hell-bent on extending their hegemony over the whole world. Not even a little island nation in the Indian Ocean escapes their radar, a radar scanning new territories for economic, cultural and spiritual colonization.

They howl in protest when the natives resist. But it’s very easy to substantiate the nefarious activities of their ilk. Still, in the interests of space and time, I do not intend to cite the corpus of studies which prove beyond doubt the devastation that has been wreaked on various peoples and cultures by the religious agents of Western imperialism – an arrogant and ruthless enterprise fueled by religion, money and armed might, the unholy trinity of neo-imperialism.

Happy hunting grounds of human misery

Human misery is happy hunting grounds for the spiritual cartels. It has always been so. They strike when their targets are at their weakest or bomb them to submission to make sure they are at their weakest. Thus softened up, they are susceptible to inducements and brainwashing.

In the 16th Century, the great Kelaniya temple was set ablaze by Portuguese soldados, partially destroying it. Later, the Lankans repaired the damage.

They have many tried and tested weapons in their arsenal. They are canny. To ‘convert’ people, you must first make them despise and reject what had sustained their people for millennia. So they vilify their faith or convince them it is a spent force or dark superstition. In so doing, they make us spit on our heritage.

Focus describes a grotesque brainwashing technique thus: “A Christian missionary (pastor) brings two boxes before little children. He says one belongs to Jesus and the other to Buddha. Children are asked to select any box of their choice. The Buddhist children select the box of Lord Buddha. They find the box empty. The pastor now says select the box of Jesus. It is filled with many nice things. Then the pastor says “see how Jesus loves you.”

You can read more about the Buddha Biscuit and religious conversion techniques in South Asia here.

Then as now, rare is the native who can resist such marvelous baubles. Make the bait juicy. Dazzle the natives with their power and glory. Pile on the questionable comforts of the religions they are peddling, and reel them in, easy as you please. Add another zombie to the roster. Check!

This is cruel. This is unacceptable. But protest and you are sure to invite a howl of counter protest accusing you of suppressing freedom – freedom to engage in their agenda.

Selling pie in the sky

Western religious intruders are, in every sense, Trojan horses, the Fifth Column, which the dictionary defines as A subversive group that supports the enemy and engages in espionage or sabotage; an enemy in your midst.” In the imperial enterprise, the priests always went in first, then followed the firepower. They may use foreign and local agents, but their controllers are megalomaniac Westerners, the powers behind most of the ‘churches’ selling pieces of blue sky to natives.

A mother and daughter pay their respects to the Great Teacher. Incredibly, despite tremendous predicaments spanning more than two millennia, the majority of the Sinhala people have managed to protect the Buddha Sasana and remain steadfast to their faith and way of life – a way of life worth preserving. ( Photos: Sesha Samarajiwa/ShootOut Photography)

We welcome them to our lands and accept their gifts at grave risk. For once they are in, once they gain a foothold, they will demolish our unity and integrity, which is tantamount to annihilating our culture. Then we are one step closer to extinction.

The self-righteous mob on fishy fishing missions fishing in troubled waters should know that Asian civilizations were established on, and sustained by, the finest and wisest spiritual and moral foundations this planet has ever known. Although colonizers from the West have tried for five centuries to colonize our souls, make us ape them and adopt their delusions, many of us have resisted, while some of us, of course, succumbed to inducements and spiritual seduction. It’s too late to do anything about that now and I mean no offense to any Asian who worships the gods of the conquerors. I wish them well.

Fight cultural annihilation, resist converters

We believe it’s worth preserving the unique, beautiful and, yes, great civilizations that flourished in Asia. I don’t mean we should try to hang on to the past and reject modernity; that would be primitivism, guaranteed fossilization. That’s not what I’m promoting. Besides, that would be impossible, for cultures are not static; they are dynamic; they change; they adapt; they move on. I mean it’s worth preserving the quintessence of our cultures, for example, the way Thailand and Japan have done. They did that, to a large extent, by successfully repelling European priests – the Fifth Column I referred to earlier – from gaining a foothold in their homelands. Unfortunately, the rest of Asia was not so savvy. By the time they opened their eyes, the natives had the Bibles and the interlopers had their lands.

I believe we owe our future generations. It would be a pity if they can have a glimpse only in museums of the by then long dead cultures, the great cultures that had sustained their ancestors. I believe it is worth fighting for, as did our ancestors who fought against tremendous odds. (Admittedly, some of our ancestors sold out.) For that, we must be vigilant. For that, we must be courageous. For that, we should not allow alien cultures to colonize our souls. For that, we must resist bribes and brainwashing.

We know we are struggling against an enemy immensely more powerful than we are. But we must resist at all costs. In this do-or-die struggle to preserve our way of life and our spirit, we can take courage from the lessons of history. Where is the mighty Roman Empire whose dominion extended from remote Britain to the Middle East? Where is the British Empire where the sun once never set? Where today is the Soviet empire? Gone, vanished.

When the founding pillars of a people – religion, language and culture, all inextricably linked – are undermined, neither a nation nor a civilization can survive intact for long. Those who engage in such willful, relentless destabilization are engaged in emotional violence, psychological warfare. They traumatize and balkanize nations, set son against father, husband against wife, neighbor against neighbor, group against group, fermenting crisis and conflict, which will eventually lead to their destabilization and disintegration. Then they are soft targets for takeover.

For five centuries, their kind not only colonized our lands and bled us dry but, to add insult to injury, they also colonized some of our souls. Yet some of us, our heroes and our martyrs, resisted. So can we, if we have the guts to scream out loud: Be gone, ye wolves in sheep’s clothing!”


  1. Navaratna Srinivasa Rasarum, Christianity’s scramble for India and the failure of the secularist’ elite, Hindu Writers Forum; (1999)
  2. Sri Lanka: Conversions go south, Sunday Leader, June 5, 2005, reproduced in Buddhist Channel
  3. Kamalika Piers, Christian conversion in Buddhist Sri Lanka
    Island Newspaper, March 8, 2000. Reproduced in? Christian
  4. Senaka Weeraratna, Repression of Buddhism in Sri Lanka by Portuguese. (Abridged version).
    The Buddhist Channel, June 28, 2005
  5. V S Naipaul, Our Universal Civilization,City Journal, 1991.

Sesha Samarajiwa is interested examining foreign religious agents’ role as Fifth Columnists of neocolonialism/neoimperialism.

– Asian Tribune –

See also

Sri Lankan Intellectuals Research Exposes Years of Portuguese Exploits

4 Responses to “No UNHRC when Portuguese destroyed Buddhist Temples and erected Catholic Churches on top of destroyed Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka during the Portuguese era (1505 – 1658)”

  1. plumblossom Says:

    plumblossom Says:

    July 22nd, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Sri Lanka should tell the US that Sri Lanka cannot abide by the UNHRC resolution. The Sri Lankan Army did not commit any war crimes. It is the LTTE terrorists who committed war crimes throughout 26 years of war. No country with an ounce of self respect will place their army in harms way to be tried by a court domestic or hybrid of war crimes the army did not commit in anyway. If individual soldiers committed any crimes, a complaint can be placed in a court of law in Sri Lanka. Why is there a need for special judicial procedures? This government is a puppet of the US, EU, UK, Norway, Sweden, Canada and India and is so subservient to US interests that it is ready to try its own armed forces for crimes that the armed forces did not commit. All the while, the LTTE terrorists who committed war crimes are being shown as totally innocent. Using the ploy of wanting a new constitution which almost all Sri Lankans don’t want, this treacherous government is trying to create a separate state in the guise of a federal state as the TNA separatist terrorists and the US, EU, UK, Norway, Sweden, Canada and India wants. Sri Lanka should tell the US that Sri Lanka cannot abide by the UNHRC resolution. The worst that the US, UK, EU, Sweden, Norway and India can do is impose sanctions on Sri Lanka. So what? Sri Lanka can trade with all the countries of Asia and the rest of the world even if the US, UK, EU, Norway, Sweden and India imposes sanctions. Sri Lanka can grow rice, we have jack fruit, bananas, bread fruit and plenty of water too. So we will not starve just because the US, UK, EU, Sweden, Norway and India imposes sanctions. Also since we can trade with the powerful economies of Asia which includes the Middle East, South East Asia, South Asia, the Far East and Central Asia as well as the rest of the world, actually, we may be OK economically too despite any sanctions imposed by the US, EU, UK, Norway, Sweden, Canada and India. However by avoiding implementing the unjust UNHRC resolution, Sri Lanka will safeguard its independence and freedom which is the most important thing for the next thousands of years as we have safeguarded our independence and freedom for at least the last 2600 years and avoid the creation of a separate state or eelam in the guise of a federal state. So Sri Lanka must very urgently tell the US that we will not abide by the unjust UNHRC resolution but carry out our own domestic process of reconciliation as we see fit. Let the imperialist US impose sanctions. Nothing much will happen to our economy since we can trade with the powerful economies of Asia and the rest of the world instead but Sri Lanka would have preserved its independence and freedom for the next thousands of years and avoid the partition of the country and the creation of a separate state which will be Sri Lanka’s end.

  2. plumblossom Says:

    Even if the constitution will be changed since this idiotic government follows whatever instructions the US, UK, EU, Norway, Canada, Sweden, India, the TNA and the separatist terrorists tell it to do, we must ensure that the unitary status of the country is not compromised in any way whatsoever. The clause in the 13th amendment which says that ‘the North and the East is the homeland of the Tamil speaking people’ must be deleted since it is totally false when looking at the history of the island. This clause must be replaced with the clause ‘the entire island is the homeland of all its peoples’. The provision which allows for the merger between two provinces should be deleted. As much subjects from the concurrent list should be included in the national list. Under no circumstances should land, police or fiscal powers be given to provincial councils. All of us need to ensure that the above happens since if the system reverts back to a parliamentary system and the presidential system is scrapped, the only way to ensure the unitary status of the country is the make sure that the provincial councils do not get any more powers than they have at present. The Public Security Ordinance should not be amended in anyway as well. If any provincial councils acts out of line, the head of government should dissolved such a provincial council and direct rule by the head of government should be enforced under those circumstances.

  3. samurai Says:

    Mugabe says “If the United Nations is to survive” End USA’s World Order
    U S A ‘s World Order is Coming Down
    Mugabe Warned:Reform the UN Security Council or Africa Will Walk Out of the UNO =hKiTc4STaoUXX
    The USA world order can now end anytime. USA World Order = UNO + IMF, World Bank. Mugabe calls for Reform of the UN Security Council A Landmark Speech Of President obert
    Mugabe threatens to pull out of United Nations
    Mugabe slams United Nations
    Africa and the world today watched with amazement as the outgoing chairman of the African union Robert Mugabe blasted the United Nations, accusing it of having imperialist tendencies. Though not the first time he was taking on the UN and the west for what he calls sidelining the African continent, Mugabe’s speech appeared to have more venom today, as he threatened to mobilize the continent to ignore the United Nations if reforms are not instituted at the Security Council
    The following is from a Blog:
    ” A number of people are behind Mugabe, not just Africans. Likely also: 1. China 2. Russia 3. India 4. Arabs 5. Rest of Asia.

    In that case, I tell you, walking out of the UNO general assembly (where Africans are followed by the above mentioned countries and groups) would be the cheapest, easiest and least bloody way of ending the USA dominated world order.

    Being the worst affected region by the USA world order or Pax Americana, Africa would of course be very honored to be the region that started the final collapse process of the empire. Why do i think others, including non-Africans, are behind Mugabe’s threats ?

    I read between the lines.

    The person who spoke out the threat, the timing, the place, the words used in the threat like ” The UN’s headquarters should not be in New York but in a more populous country, such as China or India, or in Africa,
    Mugabe said. ” , etc are all indications that this is a kind of plot against the USA world order. If you ask me, the fact that USA government’s mouthpiece VOA reports about it (about those who “protest” against Mugabe’s threat – likely a few dozen CIA bought or bribed people) is an indication how concerned USA is. USA is indeed worried about the cheapest, easiest and least bloody way of ending the its world order.”

  4. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    1797 Napoleon takes the lands under the control of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church The Pope has become the facto ruler of the city of Rome and the suburbs by the 6th century AD. But in 754 AD, Pepin the Short, king of the Franks, officially handed over these areas to Pope Stephen II. These Italian lands under direct rule of the Pope were called Papal States, or States of the Church or Pontifical States. Pope, with the help of regional powers like the Franks, continued to annex more territories by gifts, purchases, and conquests until the Papal States included nearly the whole of central Italy. These areas reached their greatest extent in the 16th century. In 1797, Napoleon Bonaparte took much of the territory. In 1815, after the allied forces defeated Napoleon at Waterloo and restored Papal rule back in these areas under Austrian protection. But in 1870, Italian King Victor Emmanuel II annexed all Papal states including Rome and limited the Pope’s jurisdiction to the Vatican. In protest, each Pope thereafter considered themselves as prisoners under Italian occupation. In 1929, in the Lateran Treaty, Italian king Victor Emmanuel III recognized the full independence of the Vatican City under Pope.

    Vatican has a history of pacts with criminal dictators as the Holy See signed treaties with monarchs and governments regardless of slavery, inhumanity, or torture they may have induced upon fellow human beings. Vatican had links to government organizations, right-wing nationalism, including Fascism and Nazism. Moreover, From 1920′s to the 1940′s most every right-wing dictator had been brought up as a Catholic: Hitler, Horthy, Franco, Petain, Mussolini, Pavelic, and Tiso (who has served as a Catholic priest).

    Pope Pius XI, in his own words a “man with no love for democracy,” helped to bring Mussolini’s Fascist Party to power in Italy and in 1926 solemnly declared:
    “Mussolini is a man sent by Divine Providence.”

    The Spanish people, stricken with poverty and a high rate of analphabets (about 80% of the population), had swept away monarchy, proclaimed a republic and elected a left-wing government in 1931. Separation of State and Church was made a reality, religious freedom was granted and civil marriage adopted. Some of the Church property – which was estimated at one third of the nation’s wealth – was nationalized. To fight the “Antichrists,” a violent, relentless Catholic opposition was promptly started on a large scale throughout Spain.

    By 1934 Catholic organizations already planned a coup d’état, having been in touch with the Fascist Government of Italy. On July 17, 1934 the Spanish Army rose in many Spanish towns. The Spanish Civil War had begun. As soon as the revolt broke out, a General Franco made haste to let the pope know that his coup had succeeded. The papal banner was unfurled over the rebel headquarters at Burgos, and the Pope Pius XI had Franco’s flag raised over the Vatican.
    This was the beginning of a world-wide Catholic offensive against Republican Spain. Bishops in Italy, Germany and other countries published pastoral letters urging Catholics to help. The pope spoke. The Spanish Civil War, he said, was a foretaste of what

    “is being prepared for Europe and the World unless the nations take appropriate measures against it.”
    — Pope Pius XI, December 25, 1936

    Mussolini sent thousands of troops, Hitler sent warplanes, warships, tanks, and soldiers. The Spanish people fought a bitter, relentless fight from 1936 until 1939. Before the demolition of yet another young democracy in Europe was complete, Pope Pius XI died.

    BBC broadcasts on Croatia – February 16, 1942 :

    “The worst atrocities are being committed in the environs of the archbishop of Zagreb [Stepinac]. The blood of brother is flowing in streams. The Orthodox are being forcibly converted to Catholicism and we do not hear the archbishop’s voice preaching revolt. Instead it is reported that he is taking part in Nazi and Fascist parades.”

    – Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, by John Cornwell page 256

    Though Fascist governments eventually died out and the Vatican made sure to distance itself from them, later dictatorships under Catholic tyrants would yet again be given the Vatican’s full support.

    For example, Chile’s Catholic dictator Pinochet who tormented Chileans. He was caught and was to be extradited to Spain where he could be put on trial for his crimes against humanity. The Vatican pleaded with international authorities to prevent his extradition – on humanitarian grounds, no less, arguing that the criminal was unwell. This farce might have been more believable, had the Vatican (and its fascist Nuncio to Chile, cardinals and archbishops) also pleaded with Pinochet for humane treatment of the Chilean people when he was still dictator. But the Vatican hadn’t done that, because Pinochet was working for the Church and in a Church-approved manner in his position as tyrant.

    Religious conversion is a deadly weapon much more disastrous than nuclear bombs and Vatican is the biggest terrorist organization that is using it for sowing distress and sorrow in this world. It is high time the civilized world shut down the ‘harvest machinery’ in Vatican .
    Even though the Christian population is “still” at 7%, the Christian Church has tremendous political influence in Sri Lanka. A majority of the major business tycoons, media organization owners, civil activists and almost all the senior cabinet members of the former UNP government were Christians.

    Both Ranil Wickremesinghe and Chandrika Kumaratunge are also widely believed to be closet Christians.

    Tamil writer DBS Jeyaraj wrote in the (Christian owned) Sunday Leader , Christians have contributed much more to the “Tamil cause” than Hindus.

    Christianity was brought to this island country of Buddhists and Hindus by the Portuguese, where it was imposed violently on the pre-Christian people against their will. The zealous soldiers of Christ destroyed temples and built Churches where the shrines had stood using the very materials of the broken temples themselves. They killed all those resisting who defended their pre-Christian places of worship.

    From 1574 onwards, the Catholic zealots kept destroying Buddhist and Hindu temples all along the Western coast. The monks and priests over there either fled or got killed or went underground. 1,000 pillared temples in Devundara in the deep south and Trincomalee in the East; the Saman Devale (temple) in Ratnapura; and the Kelaniya temple, all very much revered, were ransacked and burnt.A group of militant monks called Ganinnanse discarded the traditional yellow robe and began to wear a white robe instead to hide themselves.

    The Portuguese deliberately built churches over the ruins of Buddhist or Hindu temples. The present Kochikade church in Colombo and the Madu church in Mannar, both very popular now among Catholics, were Pattini Devales or temples for Kannagi, the famous heroine of Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
    Buddhist schools (pirivenas), which were also mini universities, were ransacked and burnt, and their monk-scholars killed. Among the schools thus destroyed were the Sunethra Devi Pirivena in Kotte, Vidagama Pirivena in Ragama – In 1557 400acre Vidagama Pirivena of Ragama converted to church graveyard and the Tottagamuwe Pirivena in Hikkaduwa. Today there hardly exists a Buddhist Temple over 150 years old in areas once ruled by the Portuguese, particularly in the maritime coast.
    The campaign against Buddhism had the involvement of three principal agencies namely –
    (1) The Roman Catholic Emperor of Portugal (2) His Viceroy at Goa and (3) The Roman Catholic priests in Sri Lanka
    ..the Portuguese came not only for trade and territorial acquisition, but for proselytising. The Papal Bulls of 1452, 1455 and 1456, gave the clear go ahead to Portugal to acquire territory and convert heathens. The Pope had conferred on Portugal a monopoly on all this. Force and intrigue were used convert them

    Many coastal communities in Sri Lanka underwent mass conversion, particularly in Jaffna, Mannar, and among the fishing communities living north of Colombo such as in Negombo and Chilaw. Roman Catholic churches with schools attached to them served Catholic communities all over the country. These schools also contributed to the spread of the Portuguese language particularly among the upper classes of society.

    The efforts of Roman Catholic clergy particularly the harsh methods adopted by them to convert Buddhists and reduce the influence of Buddhism among the public were viewed with great alarm by the Buddhist Sangha who had fled from Kotte to the Kingdoms of Sitavaka and Kandy, upon the conversion of Dharmapala and the seizure of Buddhist Temples.

    If Portuguese rule had continued and spread to the interior of the island, Sri Lanka would have completely lost its Buddhist heritage and become a completely Westernized and Catholic country. But even with the limited territorial reach (they were strong only in the Western maritime provinces) the impact had been deep, perhaps even indelible.
    Prior to the advent of the Portuguese, there was much Sinhala-Tamil and Buddhist-Tamil amity in Sri Lanka. Hindu temples dotted the maritime provinces, though these were Buddhist-majority areas. In the Thottagamuwa school, no distinction was made between Sinhalese and Tamil, Pali and Sanskrit. It was the Portuguese who first created a division between the Sinhalese and the Tamils.

    Sri Lankans should have retained their friendly, childlike nature and combined it with the inventiveness of their European conquerors. Sri Lankans inherited the power lust of their European colonisers, but none of their vision. Sri Lankans also inherited Portuguese lethargy, Dutch hedonism and British snobbery.The British left no room for the leadership to emerge from the truly indigenous people.

    The Portuguese who arrived in 1505 with a gun in one hand and the bible in the other, occupied the coastal areas and soon became a constant source of aggression, annoyance and terror to the large mass of people. In the coastal areas that they occupied, almost all Viharayas and Privenas were destroyed, including the Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya, the famous Totagamuwe Vijayaba Pirvena, Padmavathi Pirivena of Keragala and Sunethra Devi Pirivena of Pepiliyana.

    The Dutch who ousted the Portuguese in 1640 and were instrumental in destroying temples, monasteries including the royal palace at Hanguranketa.

    The British who ousted the Dutch in 1796 had a well-planned program of activities, for a continuous period of about 150 years, led to the greatest damage to the country’s culture, social cohesion, unity and dignity.

    Even though different ethnic groups could be traced in Sri Lanka’s pre-colonial era, there were not any significant disputes between them. The colonial factor enforced the ethnic divisions and the ethnic divisions reflected political, economic and territorial benefits. All colonial powers acted on pure and absolute “self interest”. British occupation of Sri Lanka was one of sheer exploitation and devastation. Whatever benefits that were derived by local inhabitants were merely incidental to their exploitation of the country’s natural and human resources in order to reap enormous benefits for the British government. The vast changes that they brought about in almost all areas of life in the country, led to the disruption of the long held culture, values and way of life of local inhabitants, particularly those of the main stream community the Sinhala Buddhists.

    To serve their self interests the British practiced the “divide and rule” policy by setting communities against each other. The British gave special privileges to the Tamil minority and those of the Christian faith, by providing with better opportunities for education, employment and other government services to became privileged communities. Jaffna district had the highest density of schools per unit area. In 1870 there were only two Buddhist schools left in Sri Lanka – in Panadura and Dodanduwa, with an attendance of 246 children as against 805 Christian Schools with an attendance of 78,086 children. Several people went after the British and then started to follow their religion and culture in order to gain various positions and other material benefits.

    Colombo assumed prominence as the commercial centre and also the center of learning and opportunities for better employment and better amenities for living. This created an outer-oriented, English-speaking urban sub-culture consisting mostly of Christians, with attitudes and behavior patterns seemingly akin to that of the British. Most of the outer-oriented urban elite which included the so called Sri Lankan leaders, held to half-baked foreign values, superficiality and strange ways of living. They were barely conversant with the plight of the majority of the ordinary people. They were not representative of the large mass of people, but they were the ones who became the trusted servants of the British administration. Almost all of the qualified professionals belonged to or subscribed to this sub-culture. The excessively poor living conditions of the large mass of rural youth led to migration to Colombo and other big towns. Some were subjected to the influence of the extremes forms of undesirable urban culture including alcohol abuse, crime and underworld activities that was gaining ground in urban areas.To make matters worse, power -political, administrative, and economic was inherited by those belonging to the westernised Colombo sub-culture.

    Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy urged Sri Lankans to develop a sense of their own traditions and national culture. He challenged the intrusion on eastern values by the expansion of western society. Besides, he was one of the world’s greatest exponents of oriental art, comparative religion and aesthetics.

    There were also fearless Buddhist monks who openly spoke out against British rule and the colonial mentality of our so called leaders. Prominent among them was Ven. Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera whose Panadura debate with the missionaries in August 1873 was a remarkable event in the country’s history.

    Great Patriot Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) spoke of the superficiality of the lives of those of the Colombo sub culture who have joined up with the colonialists to run the country.

    On February 4, 1948 we obtained the so-called Dominion Status with the Queen of England as the Head of State and with the British maintaining military bases in Katunayake and Trincomalee. Aging Englishmen became our first Governor Generals, whereas India became a free republic with an outstanding Indian Dr. Rajendra Prasad as its first President. It was in 1957 through the initiative of Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike that these British bases were taken over by the Sri Lankan government.

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