Petitioning to protect (Mr) Prabhakaran

S. Akurugoda

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has told The Times newspaper in England that the army is on target to capture the Kilinochchi town, the Tigers' capital, in the next four months. "You can't just push them into the jungles and wait. You have to search for them and completely eradicate them. Only then can peace come" said the defence secretary.

On the other hand, as the security forces made triumphant entry into Kilinochchi, the 15th SAARC summit came to grips with the serious threat posed by terrorism to peace and stability in the region and declared the eight nations' resolve to take the menace head on through 'strongest possible cooperation'

These development, no doubt, would have caused serious concerned to the peaceniks and other interested parties whose survival depends upon the continuation of conflicts and terror, though they appear in public as the saviours of peace.

A typical example is the online petition initiated by the National Peace Council (NPC) and Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), urging the President, Leader of the opposition, (Mr) Prabhakaran of the LTTE and leaders of political parties to move towards a ceasefire and peace process. While justifying the armed violence of the LTTE and the need of a ceasefire with foreign mediators and monitors, the said petition is urging the Government to make provision for the LTTE and other Tamil political parties to share the administration of the North and East. The petition is also urging the International Community and the SAARC Governments to come forward as mediators and monitors.

Petitions calling ceasefire and peace process by agencies like NPC and CSR is not new. I remember reading a similar petition, with the same wording but in printed form, circulated around the world by a NGO based in Hong Kong in 1995. The only difference was that the printed one was copied to Pope John Paul II as well!

Fortunately the majority of the general public is now aware of the role of these foreign funded NGOs, to some extent, after observing the fate of several ceasefires and peace process adopted with the full backing and blessing of these NGOs in the past. Their 'academic' directions, in the name of peace-making, merely worsened the crisis and prolonged an unnecessary war. These NGOs were in the driver's seat during the Chandrika-Ranil regimes when the CFA was in full swing. Today even a fifth year student is aware that all previous negotiations with the LTTE had failed to resolve the problem and hence it is useless talking to LTTE further because it is not genuine or sincere.

The title Mr (is an abbreviation of Mister), like any other title, is a term of respect. In Sinhala, the title Mr is the equivalent of 'Mahathmaya'. Historically, Mr, once indicated an ill-defined social status only applied to gentlemen or persons above one's own station as a mark of respect. These peaceniks, at least, should stop insulating the people of Sri Lanka by treating its democratically elected President on par with a criminal found guilty of mass murder, required by the Interpol and who keep some parts of the North under the power of gun.

NGOs exist for a variety of reasons, usually to further the political or social agendas of their members or funders. Let us rush through the ins and outs of these two organisations to see who they are, their expectations, funding agencies etc to see the extent of their representation in our socitey.

The activities of these organisations affiliated to the Church should not be taken as criticism of any religious faith as most of the facts shown here have been taken from the websites maintained by the said organisations, their related websites and articles.

National Peace Council was formed in 1995 with the full blessing of the National Christian Council (NCC) which was affiliated to the World Christian Council of Churches. NPC, whose annual budget is said to be in excess of 70 millions SL Rupees or 5000 000 Euros, is funded now by Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), European Union (EU), Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD) and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) in addition to several other foreign agencies of US, Canadian and German. (Based on the information provided in NPC website)

The vision statement of the NPC includes the LTTE as an integral part of the solution. As per the website of Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (above - funding agency), CAFOD's mission is to promote human development and social justice in witness to Christian faith and Gospel values.

At present the governing council of NPC consists of Dr. Jehan Perera (need no introduction), Elmo Alles of Ornithology-Christian Birdwatchers Global Fellowship, Rev. Sr. Mary Barbara of Provincial Apostolic Carmel (A mission of the Order providing Catholic Education), Dr. Anita Nesiah of World Vision (a Christian Relief NGO), Tony Senewiratne of Habit for Humaities ( A Christian NGO with its mission focused on teaching of Jesus Christ), Mano Rajasingham of Mandru or Institute for Alternative Development and Regional Coorporation (An NGO founded in 1989 by Sachithanandam Sathananthan, a prominent campaigner of Eelam), Joe William of CIDA (another INGO), Kingsley Rodrigo of PAFFREL (another NGO), John Thambar (Retied Director of Social Welfare Dept), G. V. D. Thilakasiri of Free trade Union Development Centre, and Javid Yusuf (attorney at law), Dr. S. H. Hasbullah and Dr. T. Jayasingam (Lecturers), Ven. Dr. Pallekande Ratanasara of Amara Sekararamaya of Thorana Junction, Kelaniya.

According to the website, one can receive the said monk's service from any tourist firms such as Visit Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, LTS Travel, Exotic Vacations and Cooaissance Travel of Russia or any other tourist firm in Sri Lanka!. Hence the purpose of inclusion of a monk of this calibre in the governing council, in this case, is self explanatory.

In the middle of the 20th century with the vast changes in society the Catholic Church had to re-orientate itself to meet the needs of the time. The Vatican Council II (1962-65) took stock of the situation and brought about sweeping changes in the Catholic doctrine.

There was a fear that the Catholic world in Latin America and in Asia would go communist. To counteract this, there came into being a new theology called the 'Liberation Theology' especially among the Catholics in Latin America. Liberation Theology sought solutions in social problems through Marxist related ideals but at the same time refraining from subscribing to Marxist ideology. Liberation Theology got an impetus from the Vatican Council II.

Based on the principle of Liberation Theology, in 1970s Rev. Fr. Tissa Balasuriya with the blessings of the Catholic Church set up the Centre for Society and Religion. Rev. Yohan Devananda formed Devasarana Centre at Ibbagamuwa (Devasaranaramaya, a Christian monastery on 'Aramaya' type formed to move around Buddhist monks and villages at grass roots level and to be in touch with them- mainly Buddhist, Christian and Marxists) Rev. Fr. Paul Casperz headed Sarvodaya in Kandyan areas and the SEDEC was set up by the Catholic Church in Kynsey Road, Colombo (Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC is the social arm of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka and is affiliated to Caritas Internationalis,).

The mission of these NGOs are said to be successful to a greater extent, since the ideologies of our Marxists of older generation (LSSP, CP NSSP etc) have fallen inline with those of the NGOs today.
In 1983 in a magazine published by a world-wide Christian organization, the names of about 200 institutions that came under its wing was published. The map that described them was named "A Map of Liberation". The Centre for Society and Religion, Satyodaya and Devasarana too were found in the list of this world-wide Christian Organisation ('Origin and development of a treacherous movement' by W. T. A. Leslie Fernando, President of the Newman Society Alumni Association, Sunday Observer, 11/11/07)

As the name implies, NGOs are expected to be created by private persons or organizations with no participation or representation of any government. Even though the term "non-governmental organisation" implies independence from governments, the NGOs under question depend entiely on forign governments and agencies. Thus, the lobbyist NGOs (to which NPC and CSR could probably be categorised) appear to be imperialist in nature and that they fulfill a similar function to that of the clergy during the high colonial era.

While promoting the terrorists' global campaign that Sinhalese, particularly Sinhalese Buddhists, or the Sri Lankan Government as Tamil's greatest enemy, these NGOs and other interested parties including their funding agencies are promoting the misconception that the war against the terrorist outfit is un-winnable. Hence completely eradicating the terrorist as vowed by the Defence Secretary is not the expectation or the mission of these paid groups.

Hence, the coming few moths will be very crucial as the NGOs, their funding governments and agencies will do whatever possible to maintain their stance and to protect their saviour (Mr) Prabhakaran at any cost. Time has come for all those who are genuinely interested to see the lasting solution to achieve peace, stability, progress and the establishment of democracy in Sri Lanka without any racial and religious differences, to identify and defeat the hidden agendas of NGOs.

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