Human rights and religion
Posted on October 2nd, 2018

N. A. DE S. AMARATUNGA Courtesy The Island

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has come out strongly against powerful countries with imperial agendas, who use Human Rights as a bludgeon to make poor countries fall in line with their plan for domination of the world. He did not speak against the concept of human rights as enunciated by the UN in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed on the 10th December 1948, but the way it is used by the western powers.

The Cardinal’s words assume greater relevance in view of the fact that the western powers not only violate those laws but also practise double standards.


The minister who was responsible for co-sponsoring the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 against his own country, without even getting Cabinet approval and thus saved the day for the US, has for obvious reasons has launched into a diatribe against the Cardinal. He has to safeguard the resolution he cosponsored. He has said the need for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights arose due to the actions of the Catholic Church such as the crusades and the Inquisition against heresy. He implies that a priest of that church has no moral right to talk against the need for human rights. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, the Cardina has not said anything against human rights. Secondly, the Pope has tendered a public apology for those historical errors that the Church may have committed.

These government worthies who have agendas to advance, have purposely distorted what the Cardinal said. Religious dignitaries must not be disparaged. The UNHRC Resolution 30/1 seeks to punish the war heroes who saved the country from the LTTE and also forces Sri Lanka to open its doors to foreign interference in vital internal affairs such as security, sovereignty and constitution making. Our government may have been under obligation to these foreign forces and also the separatists who helped them to come to power. Further, they may need such assistance in the future too, when national elections are to be held. Hence the need for the government to support the western imperialists and separatists at the expense of the interests of their own country!

All three major religions practised in Sri Lanka uphold human rights. In fact, all religions in the world respect the rights of people and these may have been the origin of human rights considerations, which later may have led to their formulation as a universal declaration in the UN. All countries have contributed to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and undoubtedly the religious influence in this process must have been significant. Perhaps it is religion which caused the awareness of human rights and the need for the enactment of international laws.

The Cardinal is right when he says religion is more important for human development than human rights. He has drawn our attention to the decline of human qualities in those countries, where the religion is replaced by atheism.

2 Responses to “Human rights and religion”

  1. Christie Says:

    In our case the imperial powers are India and Indian parasites in the world.

  2. Nimal Says:

    Sorry to disagree. Human rights are more important than religion of any kind. Religions are divisive causing all the problems in the present world and we can do without but human rights is a must that protect us from injustice and threat to ones life. Just because some countries have double standards doesn’t mean that we bin the rights of a human and even the animal.

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