18 May, 2024


Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith – The Benign Star Of Sri Lanka

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

H. L. D. Mahindapala

In its long history the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has come under massive attacks by other religionists on three critical occasions. The first attack was the most horrendous. Sankilli, the illegitimate son of King Pararajasegaram and one of the most cruel rulers of Jaffna, marched down to Mannar on the Christmas eve of 1544 and massacred 600 Tamil Catholics, which included pregnant women, children, old and the young, all because they did not recognize him as “the sole representative of the Tamils”. The Tamil Catholics of Mannar had sworn allegiance to the King of Portugal. This didn’t sit well with Sankilli. Intoxicated by the successes of his killing machine he led his forces to massacre 600 Catholics. Velupillai Prabhakaran was the reincarnation of Sankilli. However, he spared the Catholic Church because the Northern Branch became the national and international tool of his Pol Potist politics. Fr. S. J. Emmanuel, for instance, devoted his time to manufacture the myth that Prabhakaran was the Saviour of the Tamils – almost as good as Jesus Christ!

The second attack on Catholics was when the Sinhala-Buddhist wending their way in a perahera in 1883 were attacked by a mob of Sinhala Catholics.  They were determined to stop the procession going past their Kotahena Church – the leading citadel of Catholics at the time. The Catholic felt that the Buddhists were encroaching into their territory. The subsequent riots in which the Sinhala-Buddhist attacked the Catholics are known as the Kotahena Riots. A British Commission which inquired into it blamed the Catholics for their provocative conduct and aggression.

The third was on last Easter Sunday ( 4/21) when the Muslims blasted the Catholic Church of Kochchikade – a sacred site for not only Catholics but for other religionists as well. It was a politically motivated attack that shocked the world. Of the 250-odd who died in the bomb blasts most of them were Catholics. It also killed co-religionists in the East and the North. More than anyone else the Catholic community was paralysed. They were drifting in a catatonic state not knowing what had hit them. It was a senseless attack. It didn’t achieve anything. His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith was the shepherd looking after his flock. What was he to do? Did he have to right to speak on behalf of his grieving community? Wasn’t he bound by a moral and a sacred duty to speak and act on behalf of the victims of brutal terrorism? The world leaders from all corners spoke in sympathy with the victims of Muslim terrorists. So why is it wrong for His Eminence to speak on behalf of his people?

Shyamon Jayasinghe, one of the hurrah boys of Ranil Wickremesinghe, has come out against the actions and speeches of His Eminence. I shall deal with some his his accusations later. But up front it must be stated categorically that there is no valid rationale for anyone to criticize His Eminence for speaking out on one of the most tragic moments in the history of Catholics in Sri Lanka. Which shepherd will not cry when his flock has been slaughtered?

In recent times his voice has been ringing, loud and clear, as the most inspiring, persuasive, unambiguous moral force in what his critic, Shyamon Jayasinghe, called “the shit world of Sri Lankan politicians”. (Please note I am quoting verbatim from his text.)  This, of course, is a blanket phrase that covers all Sri Lankan political leaders, including his hero Ranil Wickremesinghe. Jayasinghe also knows that Ranil’s abysmal failure to live up to the promises he gave the people in the run up to the January 8, 2015 election makes him, by general consent, the king of “the  shit world of Sri Lankan politicians”.

The image of His Eminence, on the contrary, shines as the only moral force rising above the hired pundits in foreign-funded NGOs, and pothay guras boot-licking the most corrupt and depraved government in the post-Independent era, In our dismal times His Eminence is the brightest light that gives hope to the future. In the past the Catholic Church has been accused of being silent partners of political criminals. Pope Pius XII, aka “Hitler’s Pope”, was accused of not raising his voice in defence of the Jews.

In Sri Lanka, the Tamil branch of the Church hierarchy in the North was openly aiding and abetting the Tamil Pol Pot who was suppressing, persecuting and killing his Tamil people. The Tamil Catholics used the international Church network to whitewash the crimes committed by Prabhakaran against his own people, let alone the other communities. In one instance, when the Tamil parents handed over their teenagers into the care of the Catholic Church in Valayar Maddam, near the Mullativu coast, to prevent them from being forcibly dragged into the Tamil Pol Pot’s futile war, the Tamil churchmen rang the nearest LTTE Pol Potist camp and tipped them of the presence of Tamil under-aged children in the Church precincts. After the call, it didn’t take long for the LTTE killers of Tamils to rush in and whisk away the under-18 children to fill the depleted forces of Prabhakaran limping to their defeat in Nandikadal.

The presence of His Eminence in the depraved politics of Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims has been a blessing welcomed by all religionists seeking peace and unity. His presence is felt like a breath of fresh air that transcends “the shit politics of Sri Lankan leaders”, including Ranil. His Eminence stands out as a healing figure shining with the purity of his rational and objective morality. His overarching humane philosophy is the equivalent of aggiornamento of the Second Vatican Council, opening its arms out to embrace the other religionists. He can be revered as a committed disciple of Pope John who reinvigorated the stagnant Catholic theology to suit the needs of 20th century.

From time to time the Sri Lankan Catholic Church has produced patriotic and enlightened  pioneers who made lasting contributions to the renewal and the growth of the nation and its culture. One of them was Fr. Marcelline Jayakody. His enduring contribution to the national culture with his creative works lives in the memory of all Sri Lankans. Fr. Peter Pillai was an iconic Tamil intellectual respected by all communities. Fr. Perniola, in addition to being an outstanding Sinhala scholar, was an introspective and insightful historian of the Church in Sri Lanka. Fr. S. G. Perera was a pioneering researcher whose texts introduced history to generations. His Eminence is the latest. His spiritual and moral philosophy has come at a time when the derelict nation is in dire need of his humane touch. When the heart and the soul of the nation sank to the lowest depths last Easter Sunday his voice was comforting and his rod and his staff was a guiding force that lifted the spirits of a depressed nation.

He grieved with his fellow-Catholics for their Church and also for all the other victims. Whatever he said and did was for the nation as a whole. He did not lead a Crusade against the Muslims. He did not summon the Catholic Ministers and MPs and manipulated a mass resignation to demonstrate the power of Catholic Church. He refrained from dividing the nation on religious lines. He urged the Christians to be compassionate towards the Muslim community. Knowing the sensitive nature of the current inter-ethnic relations he refrained compassionately from dragging his community into the “shit politics of Sri Lankan politicians” which includes Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The immediate impact of the Easter Sunday explosion was to kill innocent worshippers in the Churches and Western holiday-makers in five-star hotels. But the long-term impact was to expose the bankruptcy of Ranil’s excremental politics. Ranil can now kiss goodbye to his ambitions of becoming the next president. Or even the leadership of the UNP. He needs the vital votes of the Catholic belt for him to win. But he has openly thrown his lot with the Muslims who have ganged up behind Rishard Bathurdeen. Can this help the nephew of Thambi Mudiyansalagay Jayewardene to get over the 50% vote in case he decides to nominate himself as the next UNP Presidential candidate?

Besides, the younger generation in the UNP led by Navin Dissanayake, Ajith P. Perera and others are openly campaigning for a new leadership. The late night (10 p.m.) broadcast of Ada Derana, (6/6/2019), quoted the rebelling Young Turks in the UNP publicly demanding a new leadership on the eve of the Presidential election. They are saying enough is enough. Navin declared brazenly that even his father, Gamini Dissanayake, has failed to deliver the nation. They have come out fighting against the old guard. They are seeking a regime change within the Party. Ajith P, Perera openly declared that their new leader is Sajith Premadasa. They are defiantly rejecting Ranil as one of those who hoas passed his used-by date. This broadcast was as explosive as the bombs that went off at Kochchikade.

On 8/6 at a Srawasthipura political event Sajith finally declared his hand. Ada Dera TV broadcast finally revealed his future political role. He said quite candidly that certain individuals are today behaving as if they had inherited the ownership of the country through a freehold title deed. “That is not democratic politics That is not people-oriented governance.” Responding to a voice from the audience which urged him to contest the leadership he replied. “Don’t worry I’m coming. I will come at the right time.” It was received with resounding applause by the UNPers at the meeting.

Though Ranil is manouevring to keep the Muslim votes with him – particularly the Muslim votes in Parliament that props him up –he hasn’t yet recognized that the Muslim terrorists had thrown a time bomb that is ticking under his chair. They have blasted to smithereens the pro-West, NGO-driven, Ranil-led political agenda. The nation obviously is starting rethink its future in the light of the failure of the “shit politics of the Sri Lankan politicians”, which includes Ranil.

New forces are emerging out of the Muslim bombs. The fast of Athuraliye Rathana Thero which electrified the sleeping nation, the visit of Cardinal Ranjith to the fasting monk, and the open revolt of Navin, Ajith and Sajith have come together at this critical juncture to herald the winds of change. Ranil is now batting on the back foot. Having lost the credibility and the marketability he gained from higher morality touted in the Yahapalanaya manifesto (with the blessings of the late Ven. Sobitha) he is now crying in the wilderness accusing those who are exposing him as communalists.

The plot of the Muslims to gang up against the rest came out of Temple Trees. The Muslim terrorists sent suicide bombers. The Muslim Parliamentarians are holding a gun to the head of the nation, with Ranil providing the ammunition. The Muslim politicos are what Prabhakaran did. He too held a gun to the head of the nation making outrageous demands. Muslims are now dictating terms saying give into us or else… That has been their standard brand of politics. They bargain with Sinhala leaders demanding 2 governorships, 5 ambassadorial posts, three ministerial posts, several state ministerial posts etc., in exchange for their electoral and parliamentary votes.

Ranil’s ploy was to make use of the Muslim MPs as a counter to the fast of Rathana Thero’s fast. It is not only deceitful but also unworthy of a proponent of reconciliation. This is typical of Ranil: he promotes reconciliation in public and kuth-thu-fies division behind closed doors at Temple Trees. As Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thero told a meeting of Sangha at the Bandaranaike Memorial Hall Ranil blames Rathana Thero for causing division and nary a word about his Minister Samaraweera attacking Sinhala-Buddhists.

At a time when the nation is convulsed with Muslim extremism he thinks he can get away by posing as the great defender of reconciliation by blaming the Buddhists. But no one seems to be buying his cheap tricks, not even the UNP rank-and-file. He is hoping to gain by the Muslims displaying their communal identity and solidarity. He has obviously not calculated the blowback. When he swings to one side there are many other who will be provoked to swing to the other side and jointly consolidate their forces against him. The dialectics in politics will militate against his usual cheap and tawdry tactics.

Ranil is now forced to fight with his back to the wall. This is what riles Shyamon Jayasinghe. He is desperately trying to make both Mangala Samaraweera and Ranil Wickremesinghe look like lily-white angels. But as the self-proclaimed expert on “shit politicians” he should be quite familiar with the excremental tactics of Ranil. His favourite pastime is to wallow in Ranil’s political toilets. And when he comes out of toilets vacated by Ranil he is ecstatic as if he has been invigorated by inhaling the lingering toxic and insufferable fumes. He wants the world to believe that Ranil drops into his toilet bowls only the fragrance of roses and sandalwood. As the expert on “shit politics” it is obvious that he will accept any turd, big or small, as long as it comes from Ranil’s toilet bowls.

As for Ranil, he is hoping against hope that the Muslim bombs will save him. He is maneuvering to distance himself from blame by targeting the President through the Parliamentary Select Committee. But it’s too late. They fought the elections together. They formed the Yahapalanaya government together. They ran the government together. They ran it to the ground together. They both knew the plot to bomb Easter Sunday. Their Ministers knew it. Their handpicked apparatchiks tasked to run the Security Machinery knew what was coming. Their Security men knew it. And for Wickremesinghe to parade now as “Santha Pilathu”, as they in Sinhalese, is a joke.

Clearly, the Muslim bombs have thrown him off balance. He is seen dithering now fighting with his back to the wall. The signs are that the UNP has ditched Ranil again as the next presidential candidate. Even Lakshman Kiriella is throwing in his hat from Kandy. Where will all this leave his boot-lickers?

Over to you, Shyamon Jayasinghe!

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Latest comments

  • 3

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 13

      Mr H. L. D. Mahindapala,

      From the photograph you look a good looking dandy dude! Why do you have such a chip on your shoulder and a grudge against the whole world?

      I thought from the anger you spew all around, you would look like Zahran Hashim!

      That dude really had a reason to blow himself up!

      But you?

      • 6

        nimal fernando

        “From the photograph you look a good looking dandy dude!”

        He resembles a notorious pheadophile.
        I am sorry I can’t remember who that phaedo is or his name.

        “That dude really had a reason to blow himself up!”

        You maybe right.
        Is that why LTTE blew its way to utopian Tamil Eelam?

        “Why do you have such a chip on your shoulder and a grudge against the whole world?”

        You very well know the answer, unlike you he is a self hating recent Kallathonie convert from South India, who does all sorts of gymnastics postures of racism in order to fit in with Sinhala/Buddhist fascists.

  • 12

    Eagle alias Pala, once again your imagination. You are really gone crazy. Analytical power rock bottom.

  • 9

    Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith please treat with caution the HLD Mahindapala’s {“– The Benign Star Of Sri Lanka”}.
    HLD M is trying to imply he has a close relationship with you. His associates are unscrupulous bigots.
    It is possible he has been contracted out to take the shine off your effort to stop violence spreading.
    There are some who are disappointed the violence-spread did not happen.

  • 10


    ” King Sankili massacred pregnant women, children, old and young.” Where did you get this information? Can you cite the source. The truth is Sankili killed his troops, nearly six hundread, stationed in Mannar, because they joining with Portuguese planned to revolt against King. These troops were Hindus but converted to Christianity to show their allegiance to Portuguese in their plan and not that they read Bible and believed in Jesus. Furthermore they were uneducated and there was no Bible in Tamil language at that time even if any of them could read Tamil. These troops were made to believe that once the king is captured, Jaffna kingdom will be governed by them. But all their plans failed when Sankili moved fast and attacked them. It is strange that you haven’t called those six hundread troops as ” martyrs ” following the present day Christians.

  • 2

    Venerable Rathana’s history making walk to Mavil Aru, the roadway that all feared to tread was the act that led the way for the government forces to unleash their might against the LTTE. He was the trail blazer. By deciding on his fast unto death, he has focussed the eyes of the Sinhala majority on another trail to be exploited for this country to be freed from the chains with which it is enmeshed. That trail is well expressed by the word REVOLUTION. That fast unto death shook the entire Sinhala majority from its accustomed complacency. The spirit of revolt was spreading fast by the majority community siding with the Venerable Thero. The government engaging in its customary procrastination tactics was shaken to the core. And suddenly things happened. The demanded resignations took place in the blink of an eye.
    To my mind what that fast unto death brought about was something similar to what happened by the Marxist revolution that sent Dudley and his cabinet helter skelter into hiding in a British war ship. Had the expected resignations not taken place, then the lot of the Sirisena-RW government could well have been the same.
    All major revolutions in this country, mainly against foreign rule, were led by the Sangha. Just think of the Panadura debate, and the Kelaniya Declaration. The monks have always been the custodians of the aspirations of the Sinhala-Buddhist nation. It was this role the the Venerable Rathana successfully took on himself.
    The Sinhala majority is a helpless community caught by the tail that is its government, and wagged at the will of minorities (openly flouting their religious and racial identities), for their purposes and benefits. Never in this country’s history has a government sunk to such a level of degradation as this MS-RW government.

  • 17

    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

    HLDM’s bottom has come down! It is all showing. However, this is not knew as we have seen it before. It disgusts

  • 7

    Mahindapala who repeatedly spewed his hatred for Tamils in words is also anti-Muslim? surprise! surprise!

  • 0

    Malignant ?

  • 10

    H. L. D. Mahindapala is blowing his siren from the safe heavens in Australia. Good that Australian government not aware of his writings in CT, otherwise they would have taken him to task for spewing racial comments. None of his comments contributing to to promote humanity or to promote moral values. Most often racists are those who are well educated in likes of H. L. D. Mahindapala.

  • 4

    Mahindapala has been clutching Rajapakse’s testicles for a long time

  • 4

    Don’t worry about HLD Pala. [edited out]. His rabid racism is due to his illness. No one takes him seriously. Read the responses and one can see his pathetic plight. He is a pathological liar, repeats the same rubbish and refusing to learn. How can he be a journalist? Also I feel sorry for this guy. In sone way he needs help. Must have had a very traumatic childhood and adult life.

  • 4

    Maya, don’t take HLD seriously because his mission is to distort history and mislead the gullible. His service is only to those who are foolish or ignorant enough to believe his bull shit and lies and mischief. He has to just utter. He goes around similar minded guys and satisfy each other. It is mutual stimulation. He is born to lie. He is such a clown to praise Portuguese and their catholic conversion and their ruthlessness against Buddhists and Hindus. Then he screams that Sinhala Buddhism is more than 2000 years and their greatness and tolerance, blah…blah..this guy has no principle, no clear stand as long as he can vomit rabid racism. He also lectured recently about homegrown “Sinhala Buddhism” more than 2000 years old and last king of Jaffna too a Sinhala Buddhist! How or why do they entertain this liar and a trouble maker? From where does he learn all this? When Vijayan came they became Sinhalas. If not for Vijayan then what would have been the situation? No Sinhala? If after Vijayan then how can it be home grown? No mention about the Vedda language that was there long before even HLD. They invite this liar from Australia to come here and utter lies. But only this guy can deliver what some of them want to hear. But can’t find any educated local persons to say so because they can’t lie or distort. How does he arrive at these fancy things and does he know what an educated view or opinion is all about? Doesn’t he know that he has to back up his utterences with facts and figures. Does he thing these are all mere gossip or grand mother’s talk? A sick trouble maker. This joker talks of LTTE atrocities but nothing about the Sinhala thugs and others did to innocent Tamils from 1956. The joker refers to even attacking Tamil Christian pregnant women by Sankiliyan.

  • 0

    Bull shit, there was no Tamil King in 1544. Sinhala Kings ruled North until Portugeuse conqurred in 1505. Tamils are recent arrivals to North, it is the Dutch who brought large number of Tamils from Tamil Nadu to work in the Tobacco plantations in the 18th century. Those decendants we now have in the North like Vigneswaran.

    I note Mahindapala is married to a Tamil woman (Vellala woman); they live in Melbourne sans children. That is his bias to Tamils!

  • 0

    Waqt Moron, what else a modaya like you can say? I feel sorry for you for just repeating the same bull shit. May Maha Vishnu forgive you.

  • 0

    Mr H. L. D. Mahindapala,

    For once, you have not mentioned the ‘Jaffna Vellalah Christians’. I hope you will correct this serious omission in your next article. Regards.

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