Norway in a hurry to meet Thamil Selvan , and the Archb ishop against the anti Conversion Bill

By Charles Perera

Last Thursday it was announced that the LTTE suffered considerable loss of its fighting cadre and that Pottu Amman was either missing or killed and the where about of the LTTE representative in the East- Romesh is not known.

This news was followed by a report that the ambassador of Norway flew to Vavuniya to meet Thamil Selvan, apparently to make arrangements for the re-start of the peace negotiations that has been set aside due to the disagreement on the part of the government to commence the negotiations on the basis of the blue print for ISGA put forward by the LTTE. Was this LTTE’s military “loss” in the East the reason for the Ambassador of Norway to precipitate a visit to Vavuniya for a meeting with Tamil Selvan or was it a meeting that had been scheduled earlier ?

However, knowing very well on which side the sympathies of Norway lie, one begins to wonder whether the Norwegians, are making a last ditch attempt to make the government start negotiations on the basis of the ISGA before the factional war between Prabhakaran and Karuna would take a turn to the worse diminishing the importance of the LTTE leadership.

It is therefore, important to warn the Norwegians not to give the LTTE the false hope of staring negotiations on the basis of the ISGA, whatever the out come of the factional war would be. It is very heartening to notice that the government has given the responsibility to SLMM to provide all information to the media pertaining to the MoU and matters concerning the rebels. SLMM should also be made responsible for investigations into all complaints made against the LTTE and by LTTE against the SLA.

Anti-Conversion Bill

Preparation of the anti-conversion bill is a historical event and the government should be congratulated for speeding up its preparation. It may certainly be necessary to make modifications to the Bill in the course of its passage through Parliament. Presenting the Bill to the public may result in a health debate which may enable the legislators make the Bill a greater success.

The Lord Buddha did not encourage conversion in any form. In the Kalama Sutta the Buddha tells the Kalamas that they should not accept a “religion” because they were requested to so, or because they know the teacher, but because they have understood the teachings and they believe in it themselves. On the other hand the conquering Christian nations, converted the indigenous population of the conquered nations at the point of their “bloody” swords or at the end of the barrel of their guns. And later the Missionaries who followed in their wake used numerous ruses to convert the people by establishment of educational institutions, grant of various benefits and admission to their “beautiful clean” churches. They were followed or preceded by the conversions by Muslim and Hindus.

The Lord Buddha was the greatest of humanist. He did not stand in the way of the peoples rights and free choice. Under the circumstances it is strange that the Archbishop of Colombo M. Gomis says that the anti-conversion bill is against the fundamental rights of the people. It is the Church that stands accused as it the Christianity that converts Buddhists to Christianity, changing the former tactics of holding the people to ransom at sward or gun point to convert, to one of buying them with money, food and clothes profiting from the poverty of the people.



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