19 June, 2019

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Cardinal Blunders Should Worry The Catholics – Reply To Shyamon Jayasinghe

By Reverend PJ Fernando –

Reverend Dr PJ Fernando

The recent article which appeared on Colombo Telegraph under the caption Cardinal Blunders Should Worry The Catholicson the 5th June has shown very poor journalistic standers, and must be said, it was right at the gutter. It is nothing but a scathing personal attack on the Cardinal. It in some ways reflects the standard of journalism we have generally in the country, not to mention the comments that appear on the social media. I at times wonder how one could not feel ashamed of oneself, let alone the quality of communication in social media as a nation and country. The renowned journalism, if there is one, should take the lead in restoring the dignity and respect in the media, in reporting and commenting, setting an example and a standard to the easily accessible social media widely used today. The manner we write and comment, must avoid crossing decency and courtesy. We must rise above, as is said in age old Greek logic, argument ad baculum, it is the fallacy committing to arguing by the cane; ridiculing and insulting someone personally or threatening someone. I am sorry to state; I am appalled by the standard of journalism that the Telegraph has promoted through the article of Shyamon Jayasinghe. 

I salute Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, on his bold standing taken in public in leading the country at a time of crisis. Since the victory against the Tamil Tigers who sought a bloody discriminating war, the Sri Lankan political leadership is in decadence with their personal, family’s or cronies’ ambitions raising their head reducing the state into a corrupt pariah regime. The lack of leadership in the country today has plunged it into its depths and has made it vulnerable to the fundamentalist, separatists and the extremists’ ideologies, be it religious or otherwise. Not too long ago, the people suffered the failure of leadership in the country when we were faced with the constitutional crisis. It was fortunately the judiciary that took the lead by taking a stand to save the day restoring the country back to near normalcy. I was wondering where were the religious leadership that should have guided and led the people. But unfortunately, the religious leaders too can be so divided succumbing to their political allegiances and so failing to guide the country and its leaders. With the Easter Massacre in the churches the Cardinal, whatever his allegiances have been in the past, fortunately took a firm and bold leadership uniting the country and all religions against violence and hatred. Which was remarkable. Well, very little could be said about the political leadership let alone, as Shyamon does praise, any political leader. Instead they must rightly be accountable to the people not just in mishandling the intelligence, but also how they dealt with the aftermath of the massacre and now, trying to help restore those broken lives, assuring security for normal ordinary people, making sure that such gross negligence is accounted and brought to justice, and guarantee that it shall not be repeated in the future. The least one would expect is creating a debate on some political ideology simply to score for one’s own advantage, and a coverup for one’s own negligence and failure. 

I have tried, painstakingly, to read through carefully between the lines what Shyamon writes, to tease out the arguments that he wishes to put forward beyond a very personal attack on the Cardinal and a praising of the minister Mangala – for what? 

To the contrary to what Shyamon writes, I find that Cardinal giving bold and courageous leadership, risking his own privileges as Shyamon says he should have enjoyed by keeping to his counsel as a Cardinal, by raising a critical issue with regards the future of our beloved country. It is much easier to say that Sri Lanka is not a Sinhala Buddhist Country appealing to the international community, for cheap popular, personal gain and political victory ransoming the country, the history, the culture and its people. Cardinal has taken the leadership in bringing to debate and discussion which we should have had long ago, soon after the war. As many have commented, yes we have fought a war and won so to say, as there are no winners in a war. But we have not had this debate and discussion defining the country and its future, settling the real score with the real separatists, and so letting us all play again roulette with the separatist movements and now with the new addition to the complex problem, the religious fundamentalism. One asking for a separate Tamil state and the other soon will be asking for an Islamic state. Both will use the same tack ticks; international isolationism – making Sri Lanka vulnerable in the international stage, human rights cases against Sinhalese Buddhist leaders. Targeting the Sinhalese Buddhists and so easily the Buddhist monks. Attacking trade and tourism – so that the countries economy will be at the mercy of foreign nations that could dictate and control the future of the country favouring the separatist’s agenda. Rewriting the historical identity of the country – defining the country as a multireligious, multicultural country. Dismantling any historical proofs – Remove Sinhalese language from being the official language, systematically destroying historical sights, records and books, and even rewriting them and creating their own. I cannot but applaud the Cardinal for his stand. 

The gana marga, path of Wisdom as is said in all religions is the path to liberation and to lead others to liberation; be it salvation, nibbana, heaven or enlightenment. And so, it is often our own ignorance is what plunges us to confusion. There is again the famous age-old principle in logic, ‘affirmation of one thing is not the negation of the other’. When the Cardinal said that Sri Lanka is a Sinhalese Buddhist Country, it does not mean that the others are denied of their rights and existence. It is a show of lack of understanding and learning to jump into a conclusion otherwise. When you say that Sri Lanka is a Sinhalese Buddhist Country it affirms the historical identity of the country, respects and regards the countries culture and history. It also communicates to the country and people that we recognise and uphold its history and culture. It gives the affirmation that we have not come to overtake the country and its culture but respect it with our own ethnic and cultural identity or belief systems. 

It is also important to recognise that when we say that Sri Lanka is a Sinhalese Buddhist Country, it is not to give teeth to  any Sinhalese Buddhist Chauvinism, or place them in any privileged position to discriminate others,  but just the contrary, it would be the duty of this Sinhalese Buddhist Country to treat, respect and regard equally every other citizen and religion. The rights of a person pervades any self-identity, which is surely a separate discussion. I would go even further to saying that, it would be the paramount duty of the Sinhalese Buddhists then to protect and serve all other peoples and religions – the country; beyond caste, creed or race, which would be its pride of place. I agree that there is a journey we all must make in this respect. But haven’t cardinal united the Catholics with the Buddhists with such solidarity when he has given the assurance that it is a Sinhalese Buddhist country long before this carnage. Would we not wish such solidarity of the majority with all the minorities of the country. What is it that unlocks it? What is it that is stopping us say that Sri Lanka is a Sinhalese Buddhist country, when we know that it is clearly true historically, geographically and morally, if not for our own hidden agenda of dismantling or proselytising the country. 

But when the minister as is reported to have said, and Shyamon seems to support it, that Sri Lanka is ‘not a Buddhist Sinhalese Country’ is surely to deny a country and a people of its history and culture. It is simple logic. Sri Lanka is not a modern nation like Singapore, but a country that has a long-standing history and civilization, 8th Centuries before Christ. To deny this, is to be very irresponsible by any standard, let a lone a journalist, minister or a religious leader. There are just two simple tests one could ask; is there a Sinhalese country anywhere else in the world? Is there a Sinhalese language anywhere else in the world? So one could easily see the agenda of the separatists and the extremists, to dismantle these two pillars that uniquely defines the country as a Sinhalese country. Of course, Buddhism goes with it as a part and parcel of the Sinhalese heritage. So will in their own right, all other historical religions of the country. 

To be fair by the Cardinal, I remember the Cardinal as a bishop and then soon after his investiture to the Cardinalship saying in public to the media that Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country. So clearly cardinal has moved from it, for which I commend. He is not a fanatic or plays his cards as is said to be in the limelight, but it shows that he has over his cardinalship carefully, thought, prayed (which I have no doubt about it), debated and now taken to lead the people and open up an important discussion in the country, which is by all means worth having. Typical quality of a true religious leader, sacrificing his own interest or the self-interest of the Catholics as such, who are a minority of this Country. 

Sri Lanka must have this debate and discussion highlighting the concerns for the Tamil, Muslims and all peoples, even those marginalised by cast, creed, gender and less able. Their voices must be heard and so of the majority Sinhalese, and the Buddhists too. 

It seems that Shyamon together with others seems to have been affected by the visit Cardinal made to the monk who was protesting with a fast unto death. I am surprised as to how such a nonviolent action is ridiculed as Shyamon does. Even the late Mahatma Gandhi led such nonviolent protests, when justice was denied by the then British rule. As an outcome of it, I gather the Muslim ministers resigned enabling an impartial inquiry for the Easter Sunday massacre. Which is indeed the right thing to do. A discipline all ministers should follow when faced with such a judicial inquiry. I hope all ministers will follow suite in the future. Whatever the background of the monk is, as Shyamon states, what the Cardinal was upholding was his nonviolent means seeking justice to yet another minority religious group in the country. Cardinal’s visit was an act of charity and determination. It was to strengthen the nonviolent resolve in the country to bring justice. It was to unite the country against violence but bring justice to all those who were killed. It was necessary due to the lack of leadership in the country that failed to guarantee a path of justice for the victims. I wish the honourable minister had taken his time and trouble to bringing justice to the victims that were denied of it, rather than pick a fight with the Cardinal in public, even dragging it to the international stage to insult a very respected religious leader of his own country, to divide the people again, and distract the people from the fact that he and his government grossly failed their people. They shall go down in history as leaders who failed the people. I applaud the Cardinal for his courage and feel proud that we have at least had such religious leader in our country, right at this moment. 

I was deeply disappointed that Shyamon in his article with such low standard of courtesy catering to some agenda either of his own or sponsored by some other. I wish the readers of his reply will have the opportunity now to see also a different view and a take, to all that he says.

*Reverend Dr PJ Fernando – Currently Priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, UK. Besides his priestly studies he obtained his DPhil from University of Cambridge UK, in Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligent Systems in 2004, served as Chaplain to number of universities in UK leading debate and discussions on number of topics such ‘the place of religion in the university’, ‘faith and reason’, ‘science and religion in a secular setting’, ‘religion in the public sphere as a moral compass’ and many other interests. 

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Latest comments

  • 34
    9

    Cardinal, we are well aware the churches and cardinals never come out with truth the first time, until there is immense pressure followed by hue and cry from followers. It has been the same in every incident where abuse and other issues were raised. You are acting just like a politician in giving a character certificate to Ranjith. Mind you this is not the first incident he has been accused of politicization. He has been abusing the religion and his powers for years. You by running into his alibi is just proving that you too are one of the same. . Why do not address this to Vatican and see what the Holy Pope has to say. It is not just the writer who has criticized Ranjith, Many of your faith has come out and criticized. This was a mistake Muslims committed and now they are suffering for it. You too are trying dragging religion into politics and putting people of your faith in more danger. Cardinal did not bother to defend himself and you from elsewhere is trying to do for him.

    • 15
      6

      Dear chiv,
      My comments are based on a very simplistic but, in my view, a logical assessment on the manner His Eminence Cardinal Malcom Ranjith responded to the massacre of Catholics.
      His performance, subsequent to the massacre, is truly noble. A similar massacre at the Kelaniya temple, for example, would have had disastrous consequences that I would rather not elaborate upon. Additionally, and it is extremely unlikely that the Buddhist establishment would have practised compassion as His Eminence Cardinal Malcom Ranjith did.
      He demonstrated true leadership that Sri Lanka can be proud of – the only sane leader during the crisis.

      As previously noted, I don’t know how Catholics perceive him based on his past actions, because I am neither a Catholic nor do I live in Sri Lanka.

      I salute His Eminence Cardinal Malcom Ranjith!

      • 4
        1

        Reverend Dr PJ Fernando,

        Your holiness,

        What baffles me is, the Cardinal asked the bombers and their supporters to be punished mercilessly. But he sits and breaks bread with Gotabaya Rajapakse, a well known serial-killer. None of you have ever asked him to be punished mercilessly.

        Will the cardinal treat Makandura Madusha, another serial-killer, the same way he treats Gotabaya Rajapakse?

        I’m really curious to know how you collective holinesses separate one from the other in your learned Christian minds.

        What process takes place in your minds to distinguish one from the other? ………… A serial-killer is a serial-killer but for you there seems to be a clear difference; what is it?

        I know a person, a layman, who, whenever a politician comes and sits near him at a wedding or a funeral or some other function/gathering slowly gets up and goes and sits somewhere else. Once at a wedding I saw him seek out and speak to a man standing alone. When I asked him “Who was that?” he said the man was the former speaker of the house long time ago and now no one wants to know him or talk to him. He said “I only talk to politicians when they are out of power and no one wants to talk to them.”

        I suppose the clergy have a few things learn from the commoners.

        • 2
          2

          nimal fernando

          Is it a clash of Fernandos?
          He has an air of grandiosity about his own typing that you will never match.

          You have no chance of beating him in a quality debate because you seek justice, truth, ………….. through informed discussion, …

        • 0
          0

          Nimal,
          You have given Rev. PJ an undeserved promotion. Only the Pope is addressed as “Your Holiness”. Or are you being sarcastic?

          • 0
            0

            OC,

            I am not an authority on how to address religious figures ………. perhaps I went a little too far. :))

            I wanted to show him respect ……… but at the same time want to hold him/them accountable for their actions which have an impact on Lankan society. There’s no such a thing as a blank cheque for anyone in elevated positions.

    • 2
      3

      Reverend Padre PJ Fernando

      You type
      ” international isolationism – making Sri Lanka vulnerable in the international stage, human rights cases against Sinhalese Buddhist leaders. Targeting the Sinhalese Buddhists and so easily the Buddhist monks. Attacking trade and tourism – so that the countries economy will be at the mercy of foreign nations that could dictate and control the future of the country favouring the separatist’s agenda. Rewriting the historical identity of the country – defining the country as a multireligious, multicultural country. Dismantling any historical proofs – Remove Sinhalese language from being the official language, systematically destroying historical sights, records and books, and even rewriting them and creating their own. I cannot but applaud the Cardinal for his stand. “

      Please explain the above with journalistic standards.

      Could you tell us who is trying/fighting to
      “Remove Sinhalese language from being the official language” and “systematically destroying historical sights, records and books, and even rewriting them and creating their own.”

      I m sorry did you mean the destruction of books, archive, ola manuscript at Jaffna public Library in 1981 by LTTE under S J V Chelvanayagam or the disruption of Sinhala Research Seminar held in Jaffna in 1974 causing the death of more than 10 people?

      • 3
        2

        Reverend Padre PJ Fernando

        FYI
        Few hundred people sought refuge in the Navaly St Peters Church and Navaly Murugamoorthy Temple. Around 5.45 p.m. on 9th July, 1995 SLA bombers, which came from Jaffna town, dropped about thirteen bombs on these two temples killing 147 innocent civilians on the spot. Both temples were completely damaged and people inside were trapped. Several lost their limbs. More than four hundred people were injured in the attack. Of the dead 48 were volunteers who were helping the refugees providing water and food, civilian sources recalled the Navaly bloody massacre. “http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2013/7/83766_space.html”

        Where was the cardinal then?

        I see a little Sinhala/Buddhist lion attempting to jump out of your tummy.
        I suspect you are not very happy in your current position hence I suggest you consider wearing saffron kāṣāya and enjoy your calling being a Buddhist Samanera.

        Wish you well.

      • 1
        0

        Native Vedda,
        The Jaffna Library was torched by policemen and probably army men, NOT by LTTE.

        • 1
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          justice

          Do you think the library was torched by police/army men NOT by LTTE?
          DIG Edward Gunawardena thought otherwise.
          Was he lying in his memoirs, ‘Memorable Tidbits including, ‘The Jaffna Library Fire’?

          I was just trying to find out if the Reverend was well informed about the country of which he was trying to describe to us. He is another Sinhala/Buddhist who is in the wrong vocation.

    • 3
      2

      Reverend Padre PJ Fernando

      FYI
      Few hundred people sought refuge in the Navaly St Peters Church and Navaly Murugamoorthy Temple. Around 5.45 p.m. on 9th July, 1995 SLA bombers, which came from Jaffna town, dropped about thirteen bombs on these two temples killing 147 innocent civilians on the spot. Both temples were completely damaged and people inside were trapped. Several lost their limbs. More than four hundred people were injured in the attack. Of the dead 48 were volunteers who were helping the refugees providing water and food, civilian sources recalled the Navaly bloody massacre. “http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2013/7/83766_space.html”

      Where was the cardinal then?

      I see a little Sinhala/Buddhist lion attempting to jump out of your tummy.
      I suspect you are not very happy in your current position hence I suggest you consider wearing saffron kāṣāya and enjoy your calling being a Buddhist Samanera.

      Wish you well.

    • 4
      1

      Amen!

      The cardinal is clearly a politician, and no amount of verbal diarrohea from Rev Fernando absolves the so-called Godly one.

      The pseudo-hype Media created around him after 21/4 has not only bloated his ego, but has also inspired him to propel himself into the public domain in which he thrives!

      Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith is killing at least two birds with his carefully aimed stone.

      1. Ingratiating himself with the Buddhist clergy for a future attack on the Evangelical churches who have significantly depleted the Catholic stock.

      2. Ingratiating himself with the rabid Sinhala extremists to keep the anti-Muslim agenda on the front burner. For example, even after 2 months he has banned vehicles inside some churches to continue the perception of Muslim threat.

      Oh Cardinal, you need to go to Confession, and recite a few Hail Mary’s in repentance!

    • 3
      1

      God in heaven only knows how many bishops, priests including the writer of this article, nuns and whatever else that make up the human side of the catholic church have committed sodomy, raped and sexually molested young boys, girls and even adults with impunity because of the cassock, or the neck collar the writer is wearing with western attire gives them a Card Blanche to get away with any act. Malcom Ranjith is a racist, communal zealot. Just because this fellow dons the cloak and sits on a cardinals chair, it makes him no cardinal.

      Look at the number of sex scandals coming out in the open in USA, UK, Australia and other places. These fellows in Sri Lanka are no exception to such behavior, on the contrary they could be worse.

    • 2
      2

      Reverend Dr PJ Fernando,

      RE: Cardinal Blunders Should Worry The Catholics – Reply To Shyamon Jayasinghe

      “The recent article which appeared on Colombo Telegraph under the caption ‘Cardinal Blunders Should Worry The Catholics’ on the 5th June has shown very poor journalistic standers, and must be said, it was right at the gutter. It is nothing but a scathing personal attack on the Cardinal.”

      So you are trying to whitewash the Cardinal? What about Cardinal Law of Boston? What about those Popes who collaborated with Hitler, Mussolini and Franco,. Were they Catholics? The crimes of the Catholic Church over two Millennia?

      Why curse Shaymon Jayasinghe? Ask the Cardinal to look in the mirror.

      Is the Catholic Church good? How Good? How Bad?

      IQ2 2009 – Hitchens Eviscerates the Catholic Church

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMRuCS7MCG8

      Christopher Hitchens argues against the proposition that ‘The Catholic Church is a Force for Good’ at the Intelligence Squared debate in October, 2009

      One of Christopher Hitchens best speeches by far, I’d rank it up there with Socrates’s last speech. Wow this man could speak.

      He’s so passionate this time! I love how the audience is deathly quiet while he lists off the crimes of the church.you can almost feel the shame

      Where is Cardinal Law? In the Vatican?

  • 36
    4

    Just to remind further, soon after the unconstitutional coup (declared by the highest court not by church) last year, Ranjith was the first to rush congratulate and take selfie with the rogue politicians. Soon after Easter, Ranjith blamed the government and PM for the tragedy. Does your religion encourage finding people guilty without evidence. Is that a commitment to your religion or Vatican, s direction. Most of your writing here is not about defending Ranjith but politically opinionated.

    • 22
      5

      Chiv, Thank you for this one….”Ranjith was the first to rush congratulate and take selfie with the rogue politicians”. My heavens, this person is a controversial figure. See, when you take a proper observation and when you carefully analyse his speeches, one can find easily that he is issuing CODED messages within his words to indicate that he is with the biggest enemy of the people of this country – The Rajapakses. Many of his words are a reflection of Rajapakse philosophies. You have to see word to word.

      • 0
        1

        Radical meaning ‘samanala’ ideas. Check your brains!

      • 2
        0

        Radical Ideas,

        Rajapaksa’s wife Shiranee is Catholic, and answers to the Popes. Mahinda also let the Pope. So Cardinal Rajagiriya blesses

        Shiranee Rajapaksa is already Donna Catharina.

        Cardinal Ranjit wants to turn Mahinda Rajapaksa into the next Don Juan Dharmapala, the next Don Juan Rajapaksa..

    • 21
      6

      “what the Cardinal was upholding was his nonviolent means seeking justice to yet another minority religious group .in the country” says the revd. The monk couldn’t have cared less for the minorities. He is a leader of the JHU, which always has been anti-minority, even attacking Catholic churches in the past. As for the Cardinal himself, did he even visit the Zion church in Batticaloa? Is it his version of Christianity to see non-Catholic Christians as his enemies but not Buddhist extremists?
      The revd goes down the usual Sinhala chauvinist path, asking :”There are just two simple tests one could ask; is there a Sinhalese country anywhere else in the world? Is there a Sinhalese language anywhere else in the world? “
      There is such a simple answer to this. Just substitute “Bengali” for “Sinhalese”.
      I don’t think it necessary to comment at length on the fractured language and logic of the doctorate-holder reverend. A “priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham ” to boot! Are there not more competent clergy who could have helped? Perhaps they are not given to boot-licking.

      • 2
        3

        Old codger

        First thing first does the Cardinal hold fundamentalistic views of the Catholic church or adhere to relativism? Does he believe pre-marital sex, using contraception, homosexuality …. and abortion are immoral? Does he still think earth is flat?

        Just because the church, cardinal, bishop and and church functionaries believe in something they are not necessarily right. More than 380 years after the Roman Catholic Church condemned Galileo, Pope John Paul II reversed Vatican’s decision, for forcing Galileo to recant his discovery as “abjured, cursed and detested,”.

        Let us ignore the modern day Grand Inquisitor Reverend Padre PJ Fernando for a moment.

        Sinns of Cardinal Malcom Ranjith:

        Does Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith deserve Nobel Peace Prize for the 2019 for averting a major bloodbath in Sri Lanka?

        Did he or didn’t he not say ” “Human Rights is the latest religion of Western nations” though he had recanted this in his subsequent statement?

        Does the cardinal believe he has to be more empathetic towards homosexuals considering their ‘defects’?

        Does he believe in capital punishment or made up his mind on execution or being the last option ? What is the penultimate option?

        Does he still support the chapter II of the constitution and does he still oppose secular state, human rights, new constitution, and believes what he said some years/months ago “We need to give the due place to Buddhism,”? .

        Does the Sinhala/Buddhist cardinal still believe this is a Sinhala/Buddhist country?

        Does this Cardinal still opposes UN led international efforts to address war crimes accountability?

  • 42
    7

    I don’t believe the author of this piece intended it to be so, but it is the epitome of the kind of boot-licking prose that is so much an (unfortunate) part of what is published in this country.
    Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s genuflection before the Rajapaksas and their horde hardly needs confirmation by this lackey of the RC hierarchy in Sri Lanka.

    • 18
      2

      Wholeheartedly agree with Emil. Now a man in a black dress takes up his pen to hero-worship a man in a red dress who has lost his way in the church. The red dresses is now extremely busy carving out a political position for himself. The church bombings has given him a fine opportunity to draw the media spotlight to a greater degree onto himself. That’s his only holy motive. And this black cross-dresser has crossed oceans to blatantly boot lick, undoubtedly with desires for some worldly elevation. That alas is the priesthood of today. When not in the news for molesting children, they hit the headlines for other despicable and dubious reasons.

    • 3
      2

      Emil van der Poorten

      The Cardinal made the following comments at the re-consecration of St Anthony’s Shrine:

      Excerpt

      ““There are some politicians here today. We request them to be honest and to work with a backbone, not to safeguard those who have done wrong. I request them to work towards a country where justice and fairness prevail.

      Most of the people are confused. They are doubtful whether the country will ever come out the prevailing uncertain situation. They doubt whether our political leadership is capable of taking this country out of the mess it is in,” Cardinal Ranjith said.””
      Doubtful whether political leadership can stabilise country: Cardinal
      Daily Mirror
      13 June 2019

      Is he waiting for divine intervention, well in the form of Gota, the redeemer ?

  • 13
    2

    You can take a SriLankan out of Lanka but we cant take the SriLanka out of a Lankan. Can we ??????? Birmingham or Borella , dosent really matter.

  • 21
    4

    Rev. PJF can you give us your honest comments on the foll:
    1. Questions are asked why the Card did not pay much attention after 21/4 to the Zion church in Batti which was also bombed. Was it because it was Evangelical?
    2. Was the Card also guilty of similar nonchalance when the BBS smashed evangelical churches around Sri Lanka?
    3. As recent as April 14, 2019 just before 21/4 there was an attack on ‘Aadara Sevana’ (Abode of Love) run by the Methodist Church in Anuradhapura. The Card was silent.
    You may read about this here: http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/Mob-attack–on-Anuradhapura-Methodist-Centre-and-its-aftermath/172-165639

    • 0
      2

      1. His excellency Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has responsibility and authority over the Catholic community. The Evangelical authority for the Zion Church should have taken responsibility and acted accordingly.
      Cardinal Ranjith did not visit the Hotels that were bombed!. That was the responsibility of the Hotel Management and the government though the catholic community shared the grief for lives lost and injured.
      2. The Catholic church does not condone violence perpetrated by any party. Evangelical leaders who had created animosity by their actions should take responsibility for their actions.
      3. The Methodist church leader or leaders should take responsibility. The cardinal cannot step into controversies where certain Evangelical churches were accused of conversions by payment of money and perks to poor Buddhist people!

      You do not interfere directly on matters where it maybe interpreted as overstepping your jurisdiction. Unlike political leaders, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith is fully aware of his jurisdiction and limitations.

      • 1
        1

        Lanka,
        Why did the Cardinal visit a Buddhist monk fasting for political purposes? By your logic , isn’t that the “jurisdiction” of the Buddhist authorities?
        Also, are Protestants not Christians? Is it not in his jurisdiction as a Christian to visit a bombed Christian church?
        Are you arguing that the Cardinal is a Buddhist then?

  • 5
    25

    There’s no surprise about the writings/comments of Western imperialist boot licking Shyamons, Emils in cahoots with their local pimp RW. They are eagerly awaiting American boots to arrive and start re-creating the colony their ancestors helped to create in 1815. To them the local culture nurtured over millennia and it’s guardians are the enemies. The good Cardinal’s stance in providing moral support to the country’s true heritage makes him an enemy of these buggers and their bogus journalistic forums. But the problem (to them) is that even after 450 years of occupation, their white masters could not subjugate this land. Can their modern day masters do it for them? I doubt it.

  • 20
    5

    What surprises us the Catholics most is, his inability to understand or pretend not to understand, the security of country and its people was held by President. Further after October 26th both MR and MS work like distal partners with a common goal making the parliamentary fraction of fractured government unpopular to give a lift of the ball for SLPP to direct the dash on to UNP court, though the real culprits are with the President. For that he started teaming up with Gnanasara and Nanda, who were backed opposition politicians. Cardinal should no where he should and shouldn’t step in. Very soon Catholics would be at the receiving end for Cardinal’s actions.

  • 19
    7

    Rev dr Fernando, your cv sounds impressive but certainly not your essay. You sound another apologist for his Eminence Cardinal, who is exploiting the tragedy to his advantage. If he says that this is a Sinhala Buddhist country, what does it mean? Can this cardinal say something different and survive here? He knows how to play the ball. He has been doing this for quite a while for his survival. Cardinal becoming a politician? Rev Fernando, you live in the uk and thus going from what you hear but we are here in ground zero and thus know the intricacies. You imply what Cardinal meant but not said about sinhala Buddhist country and you are able to read his mind. Another miracle perhaps. So he did not mean that others are not welcome here. Naturally and otherwise why all these forceful and opportunistic conversion of poor Buddhists and Hindus following the path taken by Portuguese that produced a separate problem to our ancient culture, traditions and values. So many Buddhist and Hindu places of worship were destroyed then. Now, how about the illegal mushrooming of churches by evangelists that are being attacked by Buddhists. So in this context naturally your Cardinal has to butter the locals that he is sacred and a messiah and cares first Sinhala Buddhists. This is not religion but cunning politics. So Reverend you have no right to criticise Shyamon for his views and it is his right. You have even gone to the extent of character assasination. Luckily you did not curse him that he will be roasted in fire in hell for opposing the Cardinal. Dear Reverend, sadly all of you are just playing politics using religion as a front. In Mannar, recently catholic men and women led by a catholic priest attacked a historical temple entrance with utmost violence.

  • 22
    6

    Sorry Reverend, you need to come to Colombo to know the true side of the Cardinal. He is a Rajapakse-crony and has used every opportunity to put them up on a pedestal. There are many Christian churches around the country that have been subjected to harassment and vandalism by certain Bhuddist extremists during previous regime, why didn’t he come out and say “God will punish them” then?

    There was a silent protest on Good Friday outside the Kollupitiya Methodist Church in relation to the Anuradhapura Methodist Centre attack…neither the Cardinal nor any Catholic priest joined. Priests from other churches (Anglican, Baptist, Assembly of God, Calvary Church, etc.) and Priests/Religious leaders from Mosques, Kovils and even Buddhist monks joined. It was very sad that not a single representation from the leaders Catholic denomination was there…2 days later 21/4 happened.

    So please Reverend, don’t just write ignorant articles without knowing true facts. We are not fools. Cardinal has a political agenda to fulfill… the Rajapakses’. Do you know that his has obtained diplomatic favours during the Rajapakse regime for his relatives? May be not… I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

  • 2
    1

    Sunil, I RESPECT your opinion. My opinion differs in that , “yes he offered a olive branch but with a purpose”, of what he was up to , there after.

  • 3
    13

    Reverend Sir,
    You have profoundly and descriptively elaborated which must be contemplated
    by everyone, specially who lives in Sri Lanka.

    Some those who live in abroad also have not vision to see the reality which has been drastically changed the pearl of the Indian Ocean and an Island of the Dhamma.

    Innumerable articles and essays have been published in various papers but both old and young individuals have no capacity to realise it deeply.

    Many monks are obsessed and inflamed with intoxicated emotions.

    His Eminent Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith remarkably displayed his unique leadership and innermost qualities what he has cultivated and developed as a spiritual Master.

    He never implanted and ignited any toxic thought in anyone and astonishingly made peoples, specially his followers peaceful.

    He did not started HUNGER STRIKE by demanding RESIGNATION OF PRESIDENT or any responsible person.

    In fact we all must pay our true and wholehearted respect and sincere thanks to His Eminent Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.

  • 17
    3

    With respect to cardinal Malcolm Ranjith what i have to say is he is under obligation to Rajapaksas he is trying to put the blame only on the government we all know President is to blame for 21/4 NTJ attacks President is the defense minister and also minister for law and order the truth has come out and coming out at PSC sittings Cardinal is against the PSC he is playing politics he ran to maligawa to support Ratnana what was the outcome Chanasara criticized after the fast and Cardinal became a joker what a pity

  • 17
    2

    Cardinal Malcolm Rajith should have never visited the fasting Rathna Thero whose very act of fasting was driven by anti Muslim racist motives. Here are the other blunders comitted by Cardinal . A) advocating to restore the death sentence b) stating that there are no human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Etc etc
    Rev PJF, what do you know about the Sri Lankan politics, cardinal is a Rajapaksa stooge

    St Peter

  • 16
    6

    Rev.Dr. PJ .FERNANDO-Priest of Archdiocese Of Birmingham!
    Your statement that “since the victory against the Tamil Tigers who sought a bloody discriminating war…………….” is devoid of truth. The war was thrust on the Tamils by the successive Sinhala governments by introducing Sinhala Only, Giving Buddhism the foremost place, Colonization, Standardization of the University Entrance, by means of blatant discrimination and periodic riots against the Tamils commencing from the time we had gained independence in 1948, by fortuitous circumstances, with no real efforts made by us.Our independence was a reflected glory of the Indian independence.
    Your contention that you agree with the Sinhala Only and Buddhism as this is the only country where Sinhala language is spoken or something to that effect, is to say the least is meaningless. . Rev .Cardinal, it appears may not hesitate to give up Mary as his Mother and adopt Lord Buddha as his father, if it could satisfy the Sinhala Buddhist to keep his position as Bishop. Srilanka is not a Vatican City where only Catholicism Prevails and what the Pope says is the ‘Gospel Truth.’
    It will be prudent for you to convert all Catholics in Srilanka to follow Buddhism to enhance the numbers and strengthen the the country, as Catholicism is prevalent in lot of other countries.
    Please note that that over 80% of the Catholics who succumbed to the Bomb Blast were Tamils and that is one of the reasons why the Cardinal displayed a step motherly attitude as during the War, where quite a number of Coastal Catholics died and the response from the Cardinal was lukewarm as reported by the Catholic priests in the North/East. They did not want to upset the apple cart by exposing the facts, similar to the sexual assaults on the children by catholic priests, which was swept under the carpet by the Catholic hierarchy, until it burst out on its own.

  • 18
    4

    Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith spoil his reputation (if he has) by visiting Rathana. Further more he said in an interview “Country belongs to people, not to its rulers”.
    You are right leave it to the people, Priest / Monks should not interfere in politics. Cardinal do you support Sri lanka to be ruled by chauvinist buddhist fundamentalist? If the answer is yes, then leave your preaches and sermon in church and join the saffron clad. After that you go and shout-out Sril anka is a sinhala buddhist country no other race or religion can be tolerated here. Now I can feel your motive coward…! Please do not put race over religion

  • 8
    22

    We congratulate Reverend Dr. Fernando for writing this article. Truly Syamon Jayasinghe is a biased gutter writer, who should be sunned by all patriotic Sri Lankans. Surely he has an agenda to vilify the Sinhala Buddhists in this country. It is unfortunate that Colombo Telegraph has given this writer, Shyamom, space in it to publish his articles.

    • 15
      5

      Lets be objective. Before the terror incident, Catholics knew that Cardinal was bias against the current govt. Because cardinal and his family had benefited from Raja family. Do some investigation as to how. Ask the Cardinal to deny whether any members of his family got diplomatic postings. Cardinal even went as far as getting medical advice from Percy Mahendra’s hora doctor. If you, search the WWW, you will find the pictures. It is obvious that Cardinal is in crusade to bring Raja family to power. The terror incident gave him the opening to do so.

    • 3
      2

      Johnny Boy Silva

      “Truly Syamon Jayasinghe is a biased gutter writer, who should be sunned by all patriotic Sri Lankans.”

      Thanks.

      Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
      Samuel Johnson

  • 13
    3

    Reverend Fernando

    we respect your right to defend the “Cardinal”.However most of the Catholics of this country certainly would beg to differ with your views.Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has become in spite of the robes that he wears a political charlatan instead.Never has any previous Head of the Catholic church of this country has stooped this low.

  • 17
    4

    I am a Catholic I do not support Cardinal. His is hell bent on bringing Rajapaksha to power. Why, because Cardinal and his family had benefited from Raja family. Do some instigation, you will find out.

  • 6
    13

    “One asking for a separate Tamil state and the other soon will be asking for an Islamic state. Both will use the same tack ticks; international isolationism – making Sri Lanka vulnerable in the international stage, human rights cases against Sinhalese Buddhist leaders. Targeting the Sinhalese Buddhists and so easily the Buddhist monks.”

    Excellent. The writer understands the underlying issues. The Sinhalese Buddhists, who are the majority, are being taken for a ride, whether at the UN or by incompetents like Ranil who cannot assure even basic domestic security. Rather than blame the majority, it is more productive to work with them. That is the fundamental truth which Malcolm Ranjith recognized.

    • 2
      3

      Lester

      Excellent.
      Hopefully Cardinal Malcom Ranjith has a very good chance of being appointed/elected the Maha Maha Maha Sangha of the Sinhala/Buddhist fascist ghetto under Gota and whereas Reverend PJ Fernando could replace Wanigasekara Wanasinghe Mudiyanse Ralahamilage Pradeep Nilanga Dela as the next Diyawadana Nilame or the minister responsible for Buddha Sasana.

      I wish both of them well.

    • 0
      0

      No Body can take any body for a ride unless he/she wants a ride.It is the hamuduruwas together with Cardinal Ranjit who are taking the whole Sinhala Buddhist and Sinhala Catholics for a ride together with the Sinhala and Muslim Parliamentarians. What is the need for Cardinal and the Muslim ex .Ministers to go and meet the Asgiriyas and fasting Hamuduruwa. It appears the Cardinal will be more comfortable as as Buddhist hamadurwa rather than a catholic bishop As far as the Muslim “Leaders”? are concerned it comprises of those who subtly participated in the Bomb blast, it appears. My contention is religion is not necessary for mankind, but if necessary it should be equally respected by all. The moment a person belonging to a particular religion goes to another religious priests apologetically he demeans himself and his god. Let the respective Gods save their religion.

  • 14
    4

    I appreciated all those who helped the victims of the Easter Bomb blast including the cardinal Ranjith. I also appreciated him when he visited the Muslim victims of the violence that happened in Negombo. But I couldn’t appreciate him visiting to support the Monk who was in fasting in front of Daladha Maligawa. Almost all the racist politicians use Daladha Maligawa as place to hate speeches against Minorities. JRJ went on a march against Banda-Chelva agreement. Recently Mahinda started his march to topple the government with anti-Tamil propaganda. The visit of him and gave a speech against Mangala is violation. Mangala has the right to give his opinion and Shymon has the right to comment on the Cardinals inappropriate interference in politics. I think the author has breached his duty as a Christian.

  • 4
    1

    “…the visit Cardinal made to the monk who was protesting with a fast unto death. I am surprised as to how such a nonviolent action is ridiculed as Shyamon does. Even the late Mahatma Gandhi led such nonviolent protests, when justice was denied by the then British rule.”
    *
    What an analogy!
    Rev. Fdo has not the faintest idea of why Gandhi went on hunger strikes. He went on hunger strikes when there was social violence.
    Rathana Thero went on hunger strike really to provoke violence.
    *
    Had the cardinal pleaded with the fasting monk to give up the hunger strike pledging that he will act to ensure swift and lawful steps to look into the charges, that would have been honourable.
    I fear that the Cardinal has insulted the Catholic community which was very proud of his statement soon after the bombing.

  • 4
    1

    Catholicism is the only religion that has worshipers from both Sinhala and Tamil. I can walk in to Sunday mass and sit next to a Tamil worshiper. This is my question to Cardinal where were you when Catholic Tamils were going through enormous hardships and when HR abuses taking place under previous regime? When the people were killed and houses were bombed. Why is cardinal silent when thousands of people are still without a place to live in the North? Can’t the cardinal see the hardships that many Catholic Tamils in Plantations go through? Be it housing or Schools( where are posh catholic Schools for these people), I mean to get to church and go back home, it takes them all day. When did Cardinal last visit 10’*10’ catholic house in a plantation?
    The bishops in the south are as if the north was alien country especially if you are a Tamil. Never said a word, never protested.
    Now cardinal is a weeraya to many.
    By the way I am a Sinhala Catholic. My uncle was a bishop( well he did not care about the north either, blamed the problems on northern leadership). The current bishop of Kandy celebrated mass at my wedding. More and more I think about the church, both In Sri Lanka and where I live now USA where every year millions and millions paid out to victims of Sexual abuse, church looks like a ponzi scheme.

  • 1
    1

    The Buddhist sanga is now in tatters due to politicisation. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has spread the same beans of polticisation into the Sri Lankan Catholic Church and we will soon see the ruins of that church. Shyamon Jayasinghe brought a serious message of warning to the church to be aware of this cheap polticisation by Malcom Ranjith. Now, we have this writer, Revd PJ Fernando, in a vain attempt to shoot the messenger. He has avoided the argumentation that Shyamon Jayasinghe has brilliantly presented.

  • 2
    3

    John you are right. Shyaman is trying to educate you guys what the truth is and what the reality is and you cannot allow that to happen. We prefer lies to truth. How can we allow anyone to say what is really happening and how we are taken for ride by various bogus patriots and nationalists. Cardinal is an angel and let us all follow him. How gullible we are.

  • 5
    4

    Both the cardinal and this priest who has written this biased racist pro Sinhalese article , ironically belong to Sinhalese communities that have a very recent immigrant Indian Tamil origin but are now promoting Sinhalese Buddhist racism . Listen you biased racist Sinhalese Catholic priest the fight for just Tamil rights and self determination is not terrorism but just and came because of state sponsored Sinhalese racism overtly and covertly supported by most of the Sinhalese population, most of whom like you are descended from recently migrated Indian Tamil immigrant slave labour but now beating the anti Tamil drum. The island’s Tamils have a for more ancient history than the Sinhalese came much later and are now in a majority thanks to the Portuguese and the Dutch who imported thousands of low caste /untouchable slave labour from South India from what is now modern Tamil Nadu and then Tamil Kerala. Their Sinhalised descendants just like you and the Cardinal now make up half the Sinhalese population and many to hide their lowly recent immigrant Tamil origin are the biggest anti Tamils. This island is not a Sinhalese Buddhist country and never was understood and no amount of propaganda and lies from Sinhalese Buddhist and Christians racists like you is not going to change this truth. Large parts of the island was never Sinhalese Buddhist and still not. More than 1/3 of the country had always been Tamil and Hindu and ruled by Tamil kings and chiefs. Even most your so called Sinhalese kings and chiefs were Tamil this is why the Kandyan convention was signed largely in Tamil not Sinhalese. It is thanks to the British and foolish Tamil leaders that the Sinhalese got control of the entire island in 1948 and the hapless Tamils and Tamil Muslims. This land is a multi ethnic multi religious land , where the Sinhalese Buddhist are in a majority but a Sinhalese Buddhist land .

  • 3
    4

    contd: This island is not a Sinhalese Buddhist country and never was understood and no amount of propaganda and lies from Sinhalese Buddhist and Christians racists like you is not going to change this truth. Large parts of the island was never Sinhalese Buddhist and still not. More than 1/3 of the country had always been Tamil and Hindu and ruled by Tamil kings and chiefs. Even most your so called Sinhalese kings and chiefs were Tamil this is why the Kandyan convention was signed largely in Tamil not Sinhalese. It is thanks to the British and foolish Tamil leaders that the Sinhalese got control of the entire island in 1948 and the hapless Tamils and Tamil Muslims. This land is a multi ethnic multi religious land , where the Sinhalese Buddhist are in a majority but a Sinhalese Buddhist land . Understood. Go and take a hike and read the bible properly and be good Christian priest instead of promoting racism and propagating a lie

  • 2
    1

    Cardinal has fallen to the level of Rajapaksa errand boy. He bend down to any low to put Rajapaksas into box seat. All his actions directly or indirectly. He talks big against drugs but no objections to pose with Kuddas for pics. Catholics and Christians remember very well the damage and insults directed by Gnanasara. He just turned a blind eye to all that. Perhaps he be thinking that Rajapakshes can help him to Noble prize or even Popes position. We have never seen Catholic leaders falling this low.

  • 4
    3

    How can this be a Sinhalese Buddhist land when the north and east has always been Tamil and the vast majority here still speak Tamil. 99% in the north and 78% in the east. Half the population in Colombo speak Tamil as their mother tongue and many even along the north west coast especially along coastal Chilaw and Puttalam speak Tamil. What about the central province Tamil is the majority language in the Nuwara Eliya district. too. This means 9 out of the 24 discricts in the island do not have a Sinhalese majority and are predominantly Tamil speaking. The city of Colombo and many parts of coastal Puttlam is also Tamil speaking. Tamil is the mother tongue of 25% of the island’s population but this racist South Indian origin Sinhalese Karawa priest states this island is a Sinhalese Buddhist land. Is this a joke?

    • 0
      1

      Rohan forget the Tamil crusade for Eelam, nobody is interested.

      • 3
        1

        Taraki

        “Rohan forget the Tamil crusade for Eelam, nobody is interested.”

        Wasn’t it why 30 countries decided to help VP to destroy LTTE?

        Tamils didn’t crusade for Eelam.
        However it was VP who fought for exclusive “Tamil Eelam” for different reason.
        VP’s objective was to prevent the Tamil’s achieving their legitimate democratic rights. In addition VP also prevented the entire island being democratised.

      • 1
        0

        I am not fighting for anything but stating the obvious truth. You may not like it. To Sinhalese Buddhist fascists a Tamil stating the truth is LTTE and is fighting for Eelam, oh by the way fighting for Eelam is not a crime even according to the UN. A Muslim stating about discrimination is a terrorist and a Wahabbi/ Salafists. Only Sinhalese Buddhists and now Christian fascists are saints.

  • 3
    2

    Leaving his ideas aside, Fr.Fernando does not capable of writing coherent prose ot present a logical argument. He throws out some points in a haphazard way and believes he has made his point.
    Did he do his work at Cambridge in Sinhala? I suppose he conducts his work at the Church in Birmingham in Sinhala!
    I invite Fr. Fernando to read an article in these pages by Ekanayake,It was also published in the Island.

  • 2
    2

    karl June 13, 2019
    Corrected Version
    0 0
    Leaving his ideas aside, Fr.Fernando is not capable of writing coherent prose ot present a logical argument. He throws out some points in a haphazard way and believes he has made his point.
    Did he do his work at Cambridge in Sinhala? I suppose he conducts his work at the Church in Birmingham in Sinhala!
    I invite Fr. Fernando to read an article in these pages by Ekanayake,It was also published in the Island.

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