Mahinda Weerasinghe

Every time I pick up an English daily in Colombo I am tickled pink. Not on account of those hilarious antics of the native politicians colorfully relayed by the local rags or even by those exaggerated fairy tales concocted by the terror supporting peaceniks; these can be rib tickling enough, but it is those bizarre type of 'thank you' ads, which gives me a kick in the head.
Now don't get me wrong, a 'thank you' note shouldn't tickle any one's funny bone under normal intercourse between mortals. But ones I am speaking of are not targeted at normal living person of flesh and blood, but at those now dead and gone denizens who are residing in a heavenly abode with their Catholic father.

Why such 'thank you' notes should find its way into the Sri Lankan dailies was an enigma for quite a while to me. I mulled over the puzzle until the obvious fact hit me like a ton of bricks. Indeed, in the world where the Catholic saints reside they don't print newspapers. So the faithful are unable get their 'thank you' ads printed in the world of the saints. Besides, no postal services are functioning between the worlds of the dear departed Catholic saints and that of ours, hence impossible to forward letters of appreciation to them for the services rendered. We cross such messages of appreciation almost daily in the English news media. For sake of study let me quote a few short freshly printed ones:-

Thanksgiving; Holy St. Jude Helper of the Desperate My Humble Thanks for the favor granted.

Thank you St. Anthony for that special favor you granted to me.
Thank you Infant Jesus for saving us.

Now the name of the 'thankee' (As a necessity, I coined the word 'thankee' to identify the person who is placing the 'thank you' ad, for want of a better word. Also as a rule the advertiser's name remains anonymous, with some initials placed as a signature). Which logically follows that who ever the saint a particular 'thank you' announcement is addressed to, that Catholic saint knows miraculously, the name of the 'thankee' placing the related ad? But curiously, on the other hand, these heavenly angles are unable to use their magical powers to tap into the message itself, unless they appear in Sri Lankan dailies in black and white. That must be the reason why such message should be specifically printed in a newspaper, which will inform the appropriate saint that the 'thankee' has got his prayer fulfilled and this is the 'thank you' as per contract.

We have to assume then that, St. Anthony on waking up in the morning, leaves aside his busy schedule and deliberates; "now has Mary Magdalena (I have given a good catholic name here to offer an identity to the 'thankee', which helps the reader to be more intimately associated with the subject) thanked me for that special favor I rendered to her the other day. And I expect her to thank me in the Daily News, so all and sundry will be able to note how helpful I have been. If she lapses, then I would suspend granting her any more favors". Or, one can imagine St Jude coming out of his slumber and contemplates, it is proper that I browse through the Island today, and check whether Maria Theresa has not forgotten to thank me for that extraordinary favor I bestowed upon her the other day, and thereby saved her delicate reputation. Indeed, if she has failed to show her appreciation by not printing her thank you ad in The Island, she would never receive any more benefactions from me.

Naturally, all such 'thank you' messages have got the godless 'heathen' like yours truly perplexed.
I am wondering, what sort of help are in question here. Something small, something huge, something miraculous?

For an example lets assume that Mary Magdalena has cuckolded her husband and St Anthony miraculously helped her cover up her transgression by helping her slip off from getting nabbed by her husband? Quite a small potato favor. The local priest could have washed her sins away for a paltry utterance of nine Hail Marys and what's more, it wouldn't be hard on her purse either.
Or can it be something little more serious, say Maria Theresa has poisoned her husband, and St Jude was kind enough to help her avoid the hangman's noose. Now that's 'moderately' a big potato. Yet with saints' owning unlimited miraculous powers delegated unto them by the Holy Ghost, this was not asking too much by a good catholic.

Or, are these thank you ads speaking of some real big rip offs, say something like the 'donation of Constantine'. Now that's a big time. For those ignorant of Catholic church's history; this incident took place in 774 when Pope Hadrian summoned Emperor Charlemagne to the Vatican and laid before him a document, purporting to be a deed executed by Constantine granting central Italy "until the end of the world" to Pope Sylvester and his holy successors.

This document is known today as "the Donation of Constantine" and is a universally acknowledged forgery.

Now that's the sort of help one can be really be grateful for. Personally I would have put in several thank you notes for that one; after all, it did hoodwink a whole lot of people for a whole lot of time.
In fact, that is the sort of help the LTTE Catholic terrorist leadership should put on to their patron saints, if they are to gain some 'real estate' in Sri Lanka. Strangely, this kind of aid from the saints has not been forth coming and one wonders why? And to add insult to injury, the tiger terrorist's real estate area was dashed with a tsunami recently. How insensitive can these saints be!

The question that really kept buzzing around my head was why such 'thank you' ads shouldn't appear in any of the hard core Catholic countries such as Spain or Italy, why particularly in Lankan dailies. Then it dawned upon me that, these saints wake up at the same time as the Sri Lankan do, and naturally they would wish to have a crisp English news paper to browse through in the morning. That's why perhaps Pope has given a special dispensation that all such 'thank you ads' should be placed in the English dailies of Sri Lanka, and he has instructed these saints to read only the papers printed in Sri Lanka ..

On Monday (12th March) the Norwegian capital of Oslo held the World Premier to full house for a documentary called "My daughter the terrorist,". The documentary was financed by Norwegian Government's "Film fund" which contributed 250.000 Norwegian Kroner and the Norwegian Free Speech Foundation which contributed 1.000.000 and the film was directed by Beate Arnestad.
We follow in the trailer (can be accessed on the internet) two female LTTE black tigers worshiping Mary, the mother of Jesus, and a proud mother informing the journalist that her daughter was keen on becoming a nun. How wonderful I thought! So now we know, that there's hardly any difference between taking wows to become a nun or taking AK-56 to serve a pathological murderer, who's also considered a God of the sun, thus a God in his own right.

But her dreams could have been fulfilled more painlessly. If the local Catholic priest has relayed to her some standard well practiced, result oriented procedures, and she wouldn't then need to do such bloodthirsty work. A saint could have handled it more effortlessly. She needed only to have prayed in her request to the appropriate patron saint for the favor she desires, and once that's granted, just show her appreciation by placing a 'thank you' ad in any Sri Lankan daily. Indeed if I may, I can hypothesize how she should formulate her prayer too; 'Holy virgin, destroy your enemies the Sinhalese Buddhist chauvinists and those idol worshipping Hindus, and deliver this fair land unto the hands of the true believers of the holy Catholic Church.' Simple and effective.
The procedure as to how go about is repeatedly printed in the Island dailies. She only needs to follow the standard mantra and plead to the Holy virgin as these ads assure that they never fail. The standard prescription to follow is:-

PRAYER TO THE VIRGIN-MARY (never known to fail)
Oh most beautiful flower of Mt.carmo! Blessed mother of the son of God, Immaculate Virgin assist I my necessity. Oh …

One could read full text in any Sri Lankan daily as I dare not proceed with the full incantation for a vital reason; the Holy mother may misunderstand my intentions and take it as if I need a favor, and exactly at this point of history I don't need to bump off anybody. But the point I am striving to make in quoting this particular standard prayer is, the manner in which it exhorts the 'thankee' what he or she should do in return for the favors granted. For it specifies that:
… Within 3 days after that the request has been invoked, it will be granted and the prayer must be published:

Now you must be thinking why the hell should I be concerned as to any favors granted, or how big the favor that was granted to some Tom, Dick or Mary? That observation is well taken. The point is, I have been thinking seriously of placing a 'thank you' ad myself. Well actually, not for something I got done personally. Indeed I don't pray to any mother's son for what I need, but go right out and get it. But what I had in mind was something which the whole world should have been grateful for. Specifically I am thinking of placing a 'thank you' ad to the Holy Ghost for coming to the aid to those defenseless children. What I had in mind goes like this:

"Thank you Holy Ghost for helping to expose the Roman Catholic clergy's sexual abuses in US and other western countries followed by successful prosecutions. I am beseeching thee that please do the same thing in Sri Lanka. Since the Catholics landed on this Paradise Island in 1505 they have turned it into a living hell. Dear infant Jesus, if you grant me this wish within three days as these Catholic ads proclaim, then I will put in a 'thank you' ad in all Sri Lankan dailies. But if you don't do it in three days then this contract is null and void."

We now know why the industrialized Catholic countries such as Spain and Italy discourage such uncouth ads. If they do, they will be the laughing stock of Europe. So they move shop to such mindless Buddhist countries such as Sri Lanka.

These destabilizing forces in the Island nation can be easily recognized! Sinhalese Buddhist chauvinist has not heeded Mettannanda's findings vis-à-vis Catholic action in the 1960s. And, he prophesied it all. What he predicted has now come to pass and more. Now we realize that this insidious organization has a singular aim. Keep the Island of Sri Lanka destabilized and poverty ridden. Which would be of help when they sell the Judeo Christens hollow truths to these dull natives? And, as an instrument of that policy, they have created a terrorist monster. Thus in these absurd ads we recognize an extension of the same Catholic action agenda of destabilization.

Today, the Sinhalese Buddhist chauvinists are fighting a shadowy enemy. They must identify their enemy first instead of shadow boxing. Buddhist tolerance is taken as a weakness by all these Judeo Christians sects. Until such time they penetrate this subtle truth they will be at the mercy of every passing Catholic saint, holy cowboy nun or Uncle Tom.

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