The Agenda of Missionary Schools
Posted on August 18th, 2017

Extracted from Senaka Weeraratna’s submissions to the LLRC

Missionary schools

” Christian schools in the ultimate sense have a different agenda which is not in line with the national agenda. While Christian schools do provide an education of value to kick start a career of a young student, it is by no means in their scheme of education to bring students close to the dominant Buddhist culture or the national ethos of the country. In fact, the Christian Church is by definition missionary. Its primordial goal is evangelization.

I remember reading in one of Professor G.P. Malalasekera’s articles of an incident relating to Reverend Reginald Stephen Copleston, Bishop of Colombo (the youngest at that point in time).  Father Copleston was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1902. On taking up appointment in Calcutta, he delivered a lecture at the local Y.M.C.A. on the system of education at St. Thomas College. During question time members of the audience had asked Father Copleston whether he was enrolling Buddhist students and if so, why he was spending valuable resources on the education of non – Christians. Father Copleston had then replied by saying that their primary aim through education was to convert a Buddhist student to Christianity. However those who fail to be converted to Christianity would always remain weak Buddhists, he had added.

Dr. N.M. Perera in his (incomplete) autobiography published in the ‘Sunday Observer’ some years ago referred to attempts made by a teacher at St. Thomas College to convert him to Christianity while he was a student there which were unsuccessful, and he further said that when he changed schools from St. Thomas to Ananda College in the early 1920’s he had experienced a wide difference in the respective school cultures. The focus of attention in the former was usually on matters outside Sri Lanka, while at Ananda College the class room discussions were centered around day to day events in this country and imbued with a patriotic flavour. ”

Extracted from Senaka Weeraratna’s submissions to the LLRC

Reginald Copleston

The Objective of St. Thomas College

” College of St .Thomas the Apostle, Colombo was opened with the objective of training a Christian Clergy and to make Children good citizens under the discipline & supervision of Christianity.,_Mount_Lavinia

2 Responses to “The Agenda of Missionary Schools”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yamapalanaya Pannamu!

    Parakum Yugayak Navathath Nagawamu!

  2. Nimal Says:

    We must be honest enough to celebrate that the missionaries set up the schools in the island where the first such school was the CMS kotte,also known as Christian collage kotte built in 1822 where two bit scoundrels like Darmapala studied and made a name for himself without doing anything tangible to help the people.Colonials too buillt very fine schools for the Buddhists.There was another soundral name Methanada who was a principal of one of the prestigious Buddhist schools in Colombo,either Ananda or Nalanda,but his school was not good enough for his son who was educated in the CMS kotte.His son was the senior prefect in the collage and was a big bully where anyone in the boarding school found speaking in Sinhalese was fined 10 cents where our pocket money was only 1 rupee per week and we had no money left for the tuckshop.
    But he allowed Tamils to speak their language where most of the teachers were Tamils who never allowed us into the Science medium.
    There was another scoundrel name one Silva who was the first person I ever saw wearing the national dress and he was so arrogant wore sunglasses at the assembly in the morning where we had to close the eyes for the morning prayer.Since that CMS had changed to a politician’s name he found it less glamorous to be in that collage and the last I met him was trying to creep into my nephew’s wedding at the St Thomas’ collage chapel and he openly confessed that he preferred the St Thomas to the abandoned CMS Kotte.
    I owe my father’s life to Miss Evlin Karney who was a missionary at Talawa,where my father’s mother and his twin died at the child birth. Since then the colonials and the CMS mission put the first maternity hospital,first school in Talawa also the first cemetery in Talawa where both Miss Karney and my grandmother with her baby is buried. Ten years ago when we visited that place people still referred to her as Kiri Amma.
    Thre was must have famine and disease in that sparsely populated area where the Missionaries from Gampola CMS along with by grandfather and his sister left the comforts in Kotte,Kandy and went to settle there with the help of the British Colonials where the Talawa Railway station was built by the British Army.Prior to this The British allowed a Sinhalese family in the south to acquire vast areas of land that stretched from Present Talawa to the West that is now Ralapanawa and Sigharagama.Talawa station was built to bring the poor Sinhalese from the south in thousands where a Buddhist temple was built by them at Ralapanawa,where the young monks were trained by them to form a corridor passing the temple to entice the wild animals enter the reservoir to consume water.First settlers was the Dissanayke family from the south who were given thousands of acres of land and they were so taken up by their dedication to mankind Dissanayke’s only son changed his name to Edward and married my Grandmother’s sister and she lived there next to the temple looked after by the Buddhist monks until the great flood in 1958 and was brought to Kandy were she live over 100 years.There were no attempts to convert people to Christianity,said my grand father band his sister.
    Sady the crooked politicians like Gamini Dissanayake came to pay dirty politics,perhaps claiming to be a relative of Disanayekes,demolished the house of my father and that of Miss Karney which was known as the ‘House of Joy’ and made it it to a bus stand and how cruel can that be and he paid a price and met his justice on this earth.
    Who ever ho do good must be valued and appreciated.
    If likes of Colvin,another hypocrite doesn’t like what the colonials did then why did he have a colonial type education and have colonial name Colvin?
    Truly people who hold on to power are humbugs and crooks who will sell their culture,religion and their mother to be in power.To me culture is something in line with accepted civilized values that we try to seek in Western countries while not spreading misery to our suffering humble people back home.
    I am truly happy that that the last colonials did so much good and the people agree, except the crook disagree with this as they mean no good for the welfare of the majority, like our medieval cruel leaders..

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